During early pregnancy, a woman is expected to have folic acid supplements for the healthy development of her baby’s brain and spine. Now, according to a recent study, having the right level of zinc is also important to prevent behavioural problems such as autism,in the fetus.
Research has shown that autism is a combination genetic defects and environmental factors. German and US scientists have recently published that low levels of zinc during fetal development is said to be one of these environmental factors.
Zinc plays an important role in developing synapses of brain cells, and low levels of this mineral might contribute to autism due to its disrupted handling in the neurons. However, more research is required to determine whether pregnant women need to take zinc supplements.
So before you rush to buy a zinc supplement, read this - scientists also warn that having too much of zinc can impact the amount of copper absorbed by the body,which in turn leads to anemia and bone weakness.
Alongwith formation of healthy synapses during brain development in utero, healthy levels of zinc in the body are also required to build immunity, heal wounds, prevent age-related chronic illnesses, improve memory and cure common colds. But instead of supplements, we can ensure we get our daily dose of zinc naturally, through the food we eat. Here is a list of foods that are rich in zinc.
Curds are a rich source of zinc and contribute to about 10% of the daily requirement. No wonder our mothers used to insist that we have a bowl of curds before an exam.
Spinach is a powerhouse of plenty of vitamins and minerals and zinc is one of them. About 12% of the daily value is obtained from 100gms of spinach.
Whole grains and cereals
A whopping 39% of zinc can be derived from whole grains and cereals. Prefer them over processed and refined grains.
Yes, yes! Dark chocolate is also a rich source of zinc and 100 grams can give you almost 90% of the body’s daily requirement. Go dark, not milky, though.
The good old rajma gives us almost 34% of the daily zinc requirement. Around 250 grams is enough to give you that much.
Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and healthy grains is important to keep our body systems functioning well. So whether you’re baking a baby in bump or otherwise, keep up the zinc and other minerals for a happy, healthy body.