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It turns out that copper is just as important as iron and zinc. What foods contain copper
Like iron, copper is actively involved in the processes of hematopoiesis and is necessary for a strong immune system, but its main competitor is ... zinc. How to prevent copper deficiency in the body and why is it needed at all?
Zinc and copper - what's the problem?
We are constantly learning about the importance of certain micro and macro elements for our health. It would seem that quite recently we got to know zinc closely - we learned about its important role in the human body and its positive effect on the immune system. But it turns out that an excess of zinc can lead to a deficiency of another equally important trace element - copper (Cu from Latin Cuprum).
Copper is absorbed through the intestines, from where it enters the liver. But during absorption in the digestive tract, copper has a strong rival - zinc, and if its amount exceeds the volume of copper, then this can lead to its lack in the body. Therefore, you need to monitor the balance of these two substances, especially if you are additionally taking zinc tablets.
Why is copper useful?
One of the most important roles copper plays in the body is to promote the formation of red blood cells by absorbing and utilizing iron. Copper is part of various proteins and enzymes that perform important metabolic functions: for example, they take part in the metabolism of cholesterol and glucose, produce cellular energy and regulate nerve transmission, blood clotting and oxygen transport. Copper is also essential for proper growth, development and maintenance of healthy bones, connective tissues, brain, heart and many other organs. It helps the immune system fight infections, repair damaged tissue, and promote healing. Copper neutralizes free radicals that can cause serious damage to cells, and it is also associated with hormonal balance in the body.
It is especially important to monitor the level of copper in the body for women: for the health of the reproductive system and prolongation of youth.
Where is copper found
An adult with no health problems is advised to consume 900 mcg of copper per day. There are many foods that are high in the mineral that can help keep levels in the normal range. Good sources of copper are:
- meat offal (kidney, liver)
- nuts (peanuts, hazelnuts)
- shrimp, squid, oysters and other shellfish
- grains and legumes
- dark leafy greens (spinach, basil)
- dried fruits, especially prunes
- Side effects of copper
Like any other active substance, copper can be poisonous in excess. It accumulates in the body - liver, brain and other organs. The increased copper content in these tissues leads to hepatitis, kidney problems, brain disorders and other problems.
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