Zinc Levels, Depression and the Baby Blues

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The link between zinc levels and depression is a strong one. Quite often individuals suffering from anxiety or depression show signs of a zinc deficiency

A Zinc deficiency can be very depressing …

Post-partum depression (commonly known as the ‘baby blues’) has also been attributed to low zinc levels, as the mothers Zinc reserves pass to the foetus a day or so before birth takes place.

Zinc is the basis for the baby’s growth and the formulation of its immune system. However, replacing or increasing the mothers lost zinc after the birth has shown to help conquer depression.

If you do decide to increase your zinc level, then no more than 50mg a day should be obtained from all sources (including those provided in a multivitamin supplement).

Make sure you check with a professional nutrition consultant before undertaking any supplementation.

Quickly Test your Zinc Levels

The Zinc Link

You can carry out a simple test to check if your zinc levels are adequate by answering the questions below. Do You …

  • Have white marks on your fingernails?
  • Rarely feel hungry?
  • Have pale skin?
  • Have stretchmarks around your abdomen or back?
  • Have oily skin, perhaps with some acne?
  • Suffer from frequent colds or flu?

Answer Yes, to two or more of these questions and you may well have a zinc deficiency, in which case you should include some zinc-rich foods in your daily diet.

Foods full of zinc include… oysters, endive, alfalfa sprouts, seaweed, brown rice, asparagus, mushrooms, turkey and radishes.

Zinc levels can be more accurately tested by analyzing the mineral content of a tiny cutting of hair from the nape of your neck. Most nutrition consultants will be able to arrange this test for you. It’s easy to perform and relatively inexpensive.

Who Needs Zinc…

Pregnant and breast-feeding women who must ensure they are getting adequate supplies of zinc from their diet and/or from supplements, as a lack of this mineral could lead to foetal abnormalities and stunted growth in their babies.

Anyone with skin complaints … and particularly adolescents with acne, should consider supplementation, together with vitamins A, B2, B6 and E.

Heavy drinkers, the elderly, convalescents, anyone with a diet high in processed foods and women on the pill MAY require a zinc supplement.

Zinc Rich Foods with the average Zinc content in milligrams per 100g serving.

The best sources of zinc include …

  • Oysters (25ml)
  • Shellfish (20ml)
  • Brewers Yeast (17ml)
  • Wheat Germ (17ml)
  • Wheat Bran (16ml)
  • All Bran Cereal (6.8ml)
  • Pine Nuts (6.5ml)
  • Pecan Nuts (6.4ml)
Other foods with good zinc levels include …

  • Liver (6ml)
  • Cashew Nuts (5.7ml)
  • Parmesan Cheese (5.2ml)
  • Fish (3ml)
  • Eggs (2ml)

The Right Food for Your Immune System

Brocolli - improve your zinc levelsFood has been the most prominent of all casualties behind the gradual decline of traditional family eating patterns and practices. We are eating more calories but we’re getting them from poor food sources.

By eating inferior quality fat (trans-fats), more sugar, more refined carbohydrates, more meat, chemicals and preservatives your diet can adversely affect your body’s capacity to heal itself Food for a healthy immune system