Struggling to Lose Weight or Build Muscle? Zinc

Struggling to Lose Weight or Build Muscle? You Might Have a Zinc Deficiency

Zinc is an essential nutrient for health and wellbeing, but did you know it can also affect body weight? Learn the key symptoms of a zinc deficiency, zinc’s role in fat-burning and muscle development, and how to ensure you’re getting enough of it.

It’s well-known that zinc – the second most abundant trace mineral in your body – is vital for everyday health. Zinc plays a key role in immune functioning, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, cell division, and plenty more besides. Many people already take zinc supplements to prevent or treat the common cold, and oftentimes zinc is cited as a key player in the quest for healthy skin and hair.

What fewer people know, is that zinc can also have a big impact on your body weight. So much so, that a zinc deficiency can put the brakes on even the best-intentioned fat loss plan.

Zinc and weight management – what’s the link?

While there are various reasons why zinc influences body weight, the primary one is this: zinc is essential for proper thyroid functioning. As one doctor explains, ‘Deficiency of zinc in the body may result in decreased levels of secretion of thyroid hormones, which affects the normal metabolism of the body and resting metabolic rate.’

In simple terms, not enough zinc can impair thyroid function, resulting in a slower metabolic rate, which can make it harder to burn fat. To put that into perspective, a related case study found that one woman’s resting metabolic rate dropped by 527 calories a day due to a zinc deficiency. That’s 3,689 calories a week, or more than one pound of pure body fat energy-wise.

Other ways zinc can affect body weight and appearance

Besides influencing metabolism, zinc depletion in males reduces testosterone – an essential hormone for fat burning and the growth and maintenance of muscle. What’s more, low zinc levels can decrease muscular strength, endurance and performance.

Athletes are at increased risk of hypozincemia, or low bodily zinc levels, due to the amount of zinc lost through sweat. Combine the two factors, and low zinc levels are a recipe for disaster whether you’re trying to slim down or get ripped.

The problem: one in ten Americans consumes less than half of the recommended amount of zinc

Whether you’re an athlete or not, the human body doesn’t store excess zinc, which means it needs to be consumed regularly as part of the diet. An estimated 10% of Americans consume less than half of the recommended daily intake, and several factors increase the risk of a zinc deficiency, including:

Junk food
Many of us don’t consume enough foods that are rich in zinc – like oysters, wheat germ, beef, dark poultry meat, whole grains and liver – and instead get too many of our calories from non-nutritious foods.

Agricultural practices
Research shows the content of vitamins and minerals in food in America has declined over time, likely due to agricultural practices. So even if we’re trying to eat the right foods, they might not contain optimal zinc levels.

Gastrointestinal diseases
Certain conditions – such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, short bowel syndrome, celiac disease, and chronic diarrhea – can impair the body’s ability to absorb and retain dietary zinc. It’s important to rule these out when diagnosing a zinc deficiency.

As a useful HealthLine article explains, ‘Pregnant women need more zinc than usual because the zinc in their body is needed to help the developing baby.’ Maternal zinc deficiency may compromise infant development, so it’s a real concern for expectant mothers.

Alcohol intake
Research shows that alcohol reduces your body’s ability to absorb zinc, and alcoholism is closely linked to zinc deficiency.

Zinc deficiency: what are the common symptoms?

The first way to identify a possible zinc deficiency is through common symptoms, and these vary from experiencing brittle or dry hair, skin and nails, to experiencing reduced or altered vision and taste.

Low libido in men is another common symptom of low zinc levels, as is a generally weakened immune system and susceptibility to colds and viruses. Of course, struggling to lose weight or build muscle effectively could be another indicator that your zinc levels could be off course.

If you suspect a zinc deficiency, you’ll need to rule out any related complications – like the gastrointestinal diseases mentioned above – then run some tests to confirm it. After all, your symptoms could be a sign of something else, and treating a deficiency without confirming it through testing could mean you overdose on a nutrient your body doesn’t actually need…

Source: Struggling to Lose Weight or Build Muscle? You Might Have a Zinc Deficiency



Celery Seed | Natural Health Guide

From the Latin origin “Celeri” meaning “quick acting”, Celery is a renowned herb that was known to the Chinese as early as the 5th century and used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine earlier than that.

The eminent Roman encyclopaedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus mentioned the use of Celery Seeds in his work “De Medicina”, where he recorded their use in pills for pain relief.

Celery Seeds were also used as a traditional remedy by the “father of medicine” Hippocrates, and used globally as an effective diuretic and in treating cold, arthritis, flu and digestive disorders.

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Harvested from the wild celery plant known as “Smallage” and boasting an enduring history in Ayurvedic Medicine, Celery Seeds have been traditionally used to treat various ailments including; flu, colds, digestive problems and arthritis.

Also used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for medicinal purposes, Celery Seeds have been known to possess potent diuretic properties since these times.

Celery Seed Benefits


Celery seeds are rich in the diuretic oils 3-n-Butylpthalide (3nB), which give celery its distinctive smell and taste. These powerful diuretics cleanse the system of excess fluids and stimulate the kidneys, causing the body to flush out uric acid and excess crystals that can cause many problems including gout, arthritis and kidney stones. The compounds found in these seeds enable the renal system to excrete uric acid more effectively as well as being extremely alkalising, helping the body get rid of too much water by increasing urine output. Increasing the frequency and quantity of urine aids in the removal of excess fats, salts, bile, uric acid and urea.

Blood Pressure

The anti-hypertensive ability of Celery Seeds is also due to the miracle compounds 3nB. These compounds appear to offer a multi-pronged attack against high blood pressure by acting as both a diuretic and a vasodilator, as well as working in a manner similar to pharmaceutical drugs known as calcium-channel blockers.

The benefit of 3nB as a natural alternative to treat high blood pressure is the fact that it has a very unusual mechanism of action as a diuretic. Most pharmaceutical diuretics change the ratio of sodium to potassium in the blood and, as a result, dangerous side effects can occur due to either too much potassium or sodium. In contrast, 3nB acts as a diuretic but does not alter the ratio of sodium to potassium in the blood.

Digestive Health

A 2010 study found that ethanol extracts found in Celery Seeds can help to protect the digestive tract by bolstering the gastric mucus that helps line the stomach and prevent the formation of ulcers. This effect may also extend to the colon and small intestines thanks in part to the alkaloids and flavonoids found in these seeds.

Celery Seeds are also thought to be one of the most effective natural stomach bloating remedies, assisting with protein digestion thus making the overall digestive process easier on the digestive system. This coupled with its ability to reduce excess water that the body is holding on to, make Celery Seeds one of nature’s best anti-bloating herbs. Other digestive benefits include promoting healthy bowel regularity and reducing gas and flatulence.


Celery Seeds have calming and sedative properties due to the presence of the phytochemical limonene which acts as a mild tranquiliser. It is known to be very beneficial for treating anxiety, nervousness, mental stress and insomnia.

Menstrual Discomfort/PMS

Celery Seeds can be effective against menstrual discomfort, abnormal menstrual flow and irregular menstrual cycles. They contain the plant chemical apiol, which is beneficial to the endocrine system and helps to alleviate PMS and menstrual disorders. According to recent research, taking Celery Seed Extract for three days from the first day of a menstrual cycle may alleviate the severity of menstrual discomfort and help with PMS.

Typical Use

Celery Seeds can be used in stocks, stews and sprinkled over salads. To make Celery Seed Tea use 1 – 2 teaspoons of seeds, cover with hot water and leave to steep for 10 minutes…

Source: Celery Seed | Natural Health Guide

F-FC ClipBoard: I figure with all those benefits, plus some others I gleaned from other articles, one a day would be a good idea. I made my own, of course.


6 Good Reasons to Eat a Banana Today

What goodness is in a banana? Other than being rich in vitamin B6, bananas are a good source of vitamin C, dietary fibre and manganese.

W​hat do these mean for your health? The Dietetics Department at Tiong Bahru Community Health Centre explains.​ ​

BANANAS are not only rich in vitamins and fibre, but are also fat-free and cholesterol-free.

Ever wondered what goodness is in a banana? Other than being rich in vitamin B6, bananas are a good source of vitamin C, dietary fibre and manganese. Bananas are also fat-free, cholesterol-free and virtually sodium-free. So what do these mean for your health?

Ms Peggy Tan, Dietitian, Tion​​g Bahru C​ommunity Health Centre, a member of the SingHealth group, explains why bananas are good for you and when you should eat them.

Health benefits of bananas​​

1. ​Bananas are one of the best fruit sources of vitamin B6​

Vitamin B6 from bananas is easily absorbed by your body and a medium-sized banana can provide about a quarter of your daily vitamin B6 needs.

Vitamin B6 helps your body:

produce red blood cells,

metabolise carbohydrates and fats, turning them into energy,

metabolise amino acids,

remove unwanted chemicals from your liver and kidneys, and

maintain a healthy nervous system.

Vitamin B6 is also good for pregnant women as it helps meet their baby’s development needs.

2. Bananas are respectable sources of vitamin C

You may not associate bananas with vitamin C but a medium-sized banana will provide about 10% of your daily vitamin C needs.Vitamin C helps:

protect your body against cell and tissue damage,

your body absorb iron better,

your body produce collagen – the protein which holds your skin, bones and body together, and

support brain health by producing serotonin, a hormone that affects our sleep cycle, moods, and experiences of stress a​nd pain.

3. Manganese in bananas is good for your skin

One medium-sized banana provides approximately 13% of your daily manganese needs. Manganese helps your body make collagen and protects your skin and other cells against free radical damage.

4. Potassium in bananas is good for your heart health and blood pressure

A medium-sized banana will provide around 320-400 mg of potassium, which meets about 10% of your daily potassium needs.

Potassium helps your body maintain a healthy heart and blood pressure. In addition, bananas are low in sodium. The low sodium and high potassium combination helps to control high blood pressure.

5. Bananas can aid digestion and help beat gastrointestinal issues

A medium banana will provide about 10-12% of your daily fibre needs. Singapore’s Health Promotion Board recommends a daily dietary fibre intake of 20g for women and 26g for men.

Soluble and insoluble fibres play an important role in your health. Soluble fibre helps your body control your blood sugar level and get rid of fatty substances such as cholesterol. Insoluble fibre adds weight and softness to stools, making it easier for you to have regular bowel movements. This helps to keep your gut healthy and safe from harmful bacteria.

Bananas, especially newly-ripened ones, contain starch that does not digest (resistant starch) in your small intestine and is able to pass into the large intestine. Such bananas help you manage your weight better as you stay full for longer.

That said, bananas can help you beat gastrointestinal issues such as:


stomach ulcers, and


6. Bananas give you energy – minus the fats and cholesterol​

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose – giving you a fat and cholesterol-free source of energy. As such, bananas are ideal, especially for children and athletes, for breakfast, as a midday snack or before and after sports.




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