One of the most important roles of zinc is to maintain a healthy immune system. Indeed, a deficiency in zinc can result in symptoms like mouth ulcers, respiratory infections, diarrhoea and impaired wound healing. Zinc is also found in every tissue in the body, with the highest concentrations being located in the bones, kidneys, liver, pancreas and retinas, which helps you appreciate its relevance in maintaining good health.
As well as supporting the immune system, zinc also helps to fight against cancer, supports a healthy cardiovascular system, reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and is even known to boost libido and fertility in both males and females.
To make this zinc rich smoothie, add all the ingredients to a blender and process until smooth.
Pecans are an absolute powerhouse of nutrients. A one cup serving contains a third of the recommended daily intake of zinc, as well as impressive amounts of dietary fibre for good digestion. There are quite a number of benefits linked to consuming pecans and they include preventing certain cancers from binding with DNA, removing toxic free radicals from the body and reducing levels of “bad” cholesterol.
Adding chia seeds to this smoothie not only helps to boost its overall zinc levels, but also enables you to benefit from longer lasting energy, reduced risk of blood sugar spikes and relief from joint pain, to name but a few. A 28g serving of chia seeds contains around 7% of the daily requirement of zinc.
The oats in this smoothie help to manage blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of experiencing a crash later on, since they are known for releasing energy slowly over an extended period of time. Oats also help to remove cholesterol from the gut before it can enter the blood stream, therefore lowering the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
The benefits to health that are associated with consuming bananas include strengthening the nervous system, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and protection against free radicals. An average sized banana also provides around 1% of the daily zinc requirements, alongside plenty of other beneficial vitamins and minerals.
The health benefits associated with consuming dark chocolate are largely focused around the powerful antioxidants it contains that help it destroy free radicals and protect against diseases like cancer. It is also thought that dark chocolate can help to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. Make sure you use a good quality dark chocolate with as little added sugar as possible.
One cup of coconut meat contains roughly 6% of the daily requirement of zinc. It also benefits your health in a number of ways including helping to slow the onset of neurological conditions, although the evidence to support this is still a little sparse. Coconut meat is also beneficial in helping to protect against cardiovascular disease.
Almond milk is a great liquid base for this smoothie because it doesn’t overpower the flavour of the other ingredients. The health benefits of almond milk include a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease, maintaining a healthy weight and protection against cancer.
Papaya, Greek yogurt, milk, mango, avocado, banana, almonds, almond butter and orange smoothie
Banana, grapes, sunflower seeds, almonds, kiwifruit, pumpkin seeds and almond milk smoothie
Spinach, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocado, mango, collard greens, almond milk and kiwifruit smoothie