By Lindsay Chandler, PCOS Food Advocate
Zinc is one of my favorite additions to my supplement routine – it keeps your immune system functioning properly, supports memory, and learning functions as well as being critical for hormone production and balance. Zinc is an essential trace element that is required by every cell in our body. We cannot produce it on our own so making sure we consume foods rich in zinc or include zinc supplements into our diet is so important for those of us suffering from the symptoms of PCOS.
Here are some signs that you may not be getting enough zinc in your diet:
- Hair loss
- Low libido
- Digestive issues
- Brain fog
- Hormonal imbalance
There are many reasons why your body may not be getting enough zinc. You may just not be consuming enough through your diet – foods like red meat, shellfish, and lentils are amazing sources of zinc. You may be suffering from a leaky gut. When your gut is not functioning properly the absorption of nutrients, like zinc, can be minimal. Hormonal birth control can greatly affect the absorption of zinc as well. The pill can stop the absorption of zinc into your cells. Many women struggling with PCOS are dealing with these issues all at once.
Zinc has a direct effect on our hormones which is why it is so important for women with PCOS to include it in our diets. It works directly with our thyroid hormone receptors to let our hypothalamus know if we have enough in our bodies. A zinc deficiency can lower the production of thyroid hormones and can lead to hypothyroidism. Zinc signals the pituitary gland to encourage ovulation and the production of progesterone as well. Zinc is mighty powerful when it comes to our hormones!
Here are some hormone balancing foods that are also high in zinc:
- Grass fed beef
- Organic turkey
- Nuts – almonds and cashews
- Seeds – sesame and pumpkin
Can you think of some tasty ways to incorporate these zinc rich foods into your diet? I sure can!
Wondering if the symptoms you are suffering with could be PCOS?
If you’re not sure, click here to take the PCOS test