Delayed or stunted growth
Boyan Hadjiev, MD, certified in internal medicine and allergy and immunology, says not meeting certain growth standards, including dysfunctions in the immune system, can be a sign of zinc deficiency. He says studies following adolescent athletes, particularly gymnasts, have played a factor in understanding zinc deficiencies. “A combination of increased sweat loss with a decreased intake of certain foods” is something to look out for among athletes, says Dr. Hadjiev, as these actions can contribute to zinc deficiency. High-zinc foods include seafood like oysters, lobster, and crab; beef, chicken, and pork; nuts like cashews and almonds; and legumes such as chickpeas and kidney beans. These are other clues you aren’t getting enough vitamins (and might not know it).
Low energy and depression, as well as deficit diseases such as ADD and ADHD, have also been linked to zinc deficiencies, according to Dr. Hadjiev. He says on average men and women should not consume more than 40 milligrams on zinc per day, but dosages vary based on age and body conditions, such as pregnancy, or if one is breastfeeding. Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN, CPT, stresses a balanced diet to avoid a zinc deficiency. “A balanced diet, including plenty of vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, is the ticket for nourishing your body and maintaining proper health,” she says. Here are the foods you should eat to prevent triggering a mood disorder.