What is zinc? Why do I need zinc?

Zinc in Vegetarian Diets resourceZinc can be found all organs, tissues and fluids in the body. Zinc provides many functions including:

  • Optimal growth and development
  • Reproduction
  • Appetite
  • Taste ability
  • Night vision.
  • Proper function of the immune system.

Zinc is widely available from many types of foods, so deficiency is rare in North Americans including vegetarians.  The problem arises from phytate, a compound found in grains, nuts, and legumes that reduce our body’s ability to absorb zinc from these foods.

Download our FREE full-color Zinc in Vegetarian Diets resource and discover how to maximize the absorption of zinc from plant foods, choose foods high in zinc, and get menu ideas.

One Response to “What is zinc? Why do I need zinc?”

  1. We will have a speaker talking about Zinc and night vision at our south Yorkshire vegan festival this year. I recently heard that all carnivorous animals can hunt in the dark/see in the dark – and all herbivorous animals struggle – have you heard this?

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Debbie King MS RD LD

My passion for nutrition began when I took a college nutrition class. I have worked as a Clinical Dietitian, Director of Nutrition Services, and for several years as Mom. When my youngest left for college I decided to return to my passion of sharing the health benefits of eating vegetarian meals. I enjoy teaching nutrition, volunteering in my community, and working as the Web Editor for the Vegetarian Nutrition website.

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