Zinc, called an “essential trace element,” is vital in the formation of metalloproteins, which are involved in nucleic acid synthesis. The body can’t make new cells without DNA, and so cells would stop functioning without zinc. Zinc is found in meats, seafood, dairy products, pumpkin seed, chickpeas, cashews, legumes, and whole grains.

Zinc is used for boosting the immune system, treating the common cold, ear and lower respiratory infections, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), ringing in the ears (tinnitus), Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and peptic ulcers.