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Zinc is a trace mineral that plays an essential role in your immune system and in wound healing. It also helps with mood regulation, insulin function, and your ability to taste and get restful sleep. If you have an invisible illness, you should know that people with autoimmune conditions and chronic inflammation often have low zinc levels. That’s probably all you need to hear to be sold on zinc! So where is this magic mineral to be found? The best food sources include red meat, shellfish—especially oysters (hello, happy hour!)—beans, chickpeas and lentils, hemp seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and cashews. If you're a vegetarian or vegan who loves beans and other zinc-rich plant foods, good for you (beans are sooo healthy!). But you still may need about 50% more zinc to avoid deficiencies, because it’s not easy to absorb zinc from plant foods. If none of these foods are a part of your regular diet, NP! You can take a zinc supplement to make sure you get enough.

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