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Head. Cold.

I’m sick! How embarrassing.* Seriously. As someone who works in HEALTH, being sick seems … inappropriate. Particularly after crowing about my vitality and wellbeing to my family and friends. Let that be a lesson on the vulgarity of boasting! It also doesn’t help that I have been surrounded by the ill and infected over the past few weeks, with people sneezing in my face on more than one occasion.

Subsequently, I’m quarantined at home for a day or two – for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I don’t wish to inflict my lurgy on others. Secondly, rest is the best remedy. THE BEST. Although I strongly recommend herbal and nutritional immune support while sick, without adequate rest it will take much longer to recover. Honestly, convalescence is key.

Apart from lurking around the house in soft pants, I’ve also been doing the following:

  • Sitting outside in this glorious ‘winter’ sunshine we’ve been having in Sydney – letting the warmth sink right into my bones and topping up my Vitamin D levels in the process
  • Dosing up on a truly foul-tasting, but very effective, herbal tonic that will help to boost my immune system and blast away any persistent infection
  • Having regular spoonfuls of the winter ‘go to’: garlic oxymel
  • Taking a high dose of Zinc (in combo with Vitamin C) to, again, give my immune system an extra boost
  • Eating simply, keeping my fluids up, and making bright and pungent teas using such wonderful ingredients as those pictured below

Turmeric. Lemon. Ginger.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to blow my nose… in the sunshine.


* After I posted this, Amanda – who I work with at Uclinic – made the valid point that it’s not embarrassing to be sick. In fact, it’s human and normal. True. Thanks for the reminder Amanda!

Zinc may kick your cold

There are plenty of different things you can do to keep yourself healthy through the cooler months, but what happens if you do fall ill?

Don’t worry. Don’t panic. There is a lot you can do to feel better and bounce back in no time.

Today I’m going to tell you about the wonders of Zinc: an essential nutrient that plays a role in immune function, wound healing, digestion, protein synthesis and reproductive function. A pretty important guy, in other words.

Zinc can help you ditch a cold

We often recommend Zinc (together with Vit C and immune supporting herbs) to get our patients’ health back on track.

A Cochrane review published last year looked at the role of Zinc supplementation in kicking a cold. The reviewers found that taking a high-therapeutic dose of Zinc within 24 hours of  developing cold symptoms significantly reduced symptom duration i.e. people got better, faster. Hooplah! They also found that people who had been taking small doses of Zinc for several months were less likely to fall ill in the first place. Double hooplah!

Although supplementation should be just that – supplemental to dietary nutrition – Zinc liquid or tablets should be considered if you’re prone to illness at this time of year, or if you feel yourself coming down with something.

How do I know if I need more Zinc?

Apart from assessing your dietary intake and overall health to ascertain whether supplementation would be appropriate, we can also do a Zinc taste test here at the clinic – a quick and easy way to see if you need a boost.

If you feel you might be low, make a time to come on in and we can check.

What are the best dietary sources of Zinc?

Oysters contain the highest amount of zinc of all food sources. You will also find high levels of Zinc in organic meat (particularly beef & lamb) and organ meats (such as liver), chicken and turkey. As well as seafood (especially crab and lobster) and eggs.

Vegetarians and vegans can find Zinc in pepitas (pumpkin seeds), Brazil nuts and almonds (other nuts also have small amounts), sesame seeds,  whole grains and wheat germ.

Citric acid, such as you’ll find in lemons, oranges and other vitamin C-rich foods increases zinc absorption.

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