By Rachel Venokur-Clark, Green Options
Zinc is an essential mineral that carries out numerous functions in your body, including promoting a healthy immune system, protecting the liver from damage and helping your body’s wounds heal.
In addition, zinc is vital for testosterone production, which affects sexual desire, vigor and stamina in both men and women. Zinc deficiencies in men can cause sexual performance problems. Find yourself deficient in this mineral and your libido will be screaming out to be fed. Zinc also helps to prevent PMS symptoms in women and plays an important role in the function of the prostate gland in men.
So how do you know if you are deficient? Some common signs of a possible major deficiency in zinc are acne, fatigue, white spots on your fingernails, hair loss, high cholesterol, prostate trouble, irregular periods, impotence and infertility. However, even a minor deficiency can affect your sexual desire and function, so taking the time to make sure you are getting enough of this mineral during the day can have a positive outcome on your romantic evenings. If you are concerned, there is an oral test that can be done at a doctorsí office, as well as a blood test to determine if you are zinc deficient. Vegetarians and vegans need about 50 percent more zinc in their diet then meat eaters. Since there is an array of plant-based zinc sources, there is no need to panic. But since most Americans are believed to be deficient in this vital mineral, itís time to eat up!
Sexy Veggie Food Choices: tempeh, beans including lentil, adzuki beans, chickpeas and lima beans, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, nuts including cashews, pecans, pine nuts, almonds and Brazil nuts, honey, tahini, flax seeds, flax oil, peas, blackberries, kiwi, peas, summer squash, corn and sweet potato, oats and seaweeds including kelp and dulse.
Try this recipe for my ďJust Canít Get Enough GranolaĒ to start boosting your zinc today.
Just Canít Get Enough Granola
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 2 quarts
3 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
3/4 cup raw slivered Almonds
3/4 cup raw chopped Walnuts
1 cup Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup Coconut flakes
3/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Sucanat
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Cardamom
3/4 cups dried Apricots
1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2) In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except the apricots.
3) Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with aluminum foil, in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until golden brown and well toasted.
4) Transfer granola to a large bowl to cool.
5) Add apricots, tossing to combine.
* Beware, this is so addicting! If you donít gobble it all up in one sitting it will keep in an airtight container for a few weeks.