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Want to encourage healing, boost your immune system, and help protect against vision loss? Then consider zinc. This mineral plays an important role in cell production, including creating new skin cells, but how much you take is important. Moderate doses of zinc can enhance immunity, while high doses can actually depress it and should be avoided. In general, a supplement of 15 mg of zinc daily for most people, or 30 mg for those who follow a vegetarian diet is sufficient.
The best plant sources of zinc are legumes (dried beans, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, lentils and peas), soy products and whole grains. Red meat and cooked oysters are good animal sources. Some dairy products and foods high in calcium can decrease zinc absorption, while protein-rich foods can enhance it.
Because copper can be depleted when taking zinc supplements, a multivitamin supplement that includes both zinc and copper should be taken, preferably with a meal to avoid stomach upset.