Intro To Zinc
When you are experiencing anxiety or feeling weighed down by extra stress, it can feel impossible to take hold of those symptoms and regain happiness. There’s good news ahead. You can naturally enhance your mood and lift yourself out of that negative, sluggish state. One powerful mineral your body relies on for DNA synthesis, immunity and even your sense of taste also have influence over your mental and emotional well-being. Zinc is an essential building block for hundreds of activities within your body. The more sufficient your zinc levels, the less likely you are to experience feelings of anxiety and stress.
Zinc Naturally Supports Brain Health
Zinc helps regulate a protein in your brain called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, for short. This important protein directly regulates your mood and reaction to stress. Patients supplementing their diet with zinc display a rapid rise in BDNF levels. This rise facilitates more positive feelings and lowers the opportunity for anxiety. Zinc is linked to the “feel good” chemical serotonin as well. Serotonin, or 5-HT, is a chemical neurotransmitter that communicates messages from one area of your brain to another. Those messages related to happiness, emotion regulation, and even healthy sleep are imperative for lowering negative feelings.
Zinc Deficiency, Anxiety, and Stress
If you are regularly struggling with anxiety or overwhelming stress, there are ways to naturally increase your zinc intake to give your “feel good” chemicals a boost. Start with a review of your diet. Foods with the highest zinc content are animal-based proteins. Oysters, beef, and veal are rich in this vital mineral. Plant sources do not offer as much, but the best sources are mushrooms, beans, oatmeal, and even dark chocolate. An advantage to the zinc found in animal proteins is that it is more readily available for absorption by your body, giving it an overall higher quality. Because of this, if you choose a vegan or vegetarian diet, or have a lower quality diet, you are more susceptible to low zinc levels and should consider a supplement. Others who are at a higher risk for deficiency are pregnant women, those with diabetes, children, and older adults. More symptoms of a zinc deficiency to watch for are open skin sores, decreased appetite, frequent infections, and even trouble staying asleep at night. Since it’s related to the production of melatonin, low zinc levels can cause sleep disruption. If you are suffering from any of these, you may want to consider a zinc supplement.
It is important to talk with your physician about your feelings of anxiety and stress. There is such a thing as too much zinc in your system, so taking a max daily supplement without consultation could actually have long termed negative effects on your body. Some of those impacts include digestive issues, vomiting, or drowsiness. Consistent over-usage can squelch your iron or copper levels, creating other issues within your body. Reviewing your symptoms and your diet is a great starting point to decide whether boosting this super-mineral will help you boost your mood.