12 Foods That Are Rich in Zinc
Zinc, a nutrient, which is essentially needed at every age, is found in the cells throughout our body. It helps our cells fight off disease-causing bacteria and viruses and supports metabolism. It is needed in making and repairing DNA, thus its intake is necessary for pregnant women. Zinc aids in wound healing and plays a vital role in determining senses of smell and taste. It helps children grow healthy and strong and improves the immune function of old people.
Zinc is not naturally produced in our body so how do we get an adequate daily amount of this important trace mineral?
The key lies in our diet. Everyday consumption of zinc-rich food can provide the needed amount for optimal body function and growth. Health experts recommend a daily intake of 11 mg zinc for men and 8 mg for women.
So to help you incorporate this mineral into your diet, we have listed 12 foods that are rich in zinc, which you can include in your daily diet to keep zinc deficiency at bay. The foods are divided into four groups for better understanding and choices. At the end of this blog , you will also learn about a supplement by Wellbeing Nutrition (WBN) that will help you plug in zinc deficiency in the body.
Foods Rich In Zinc
Given below are the different foods that one can have to maintain a healthy level of zinc and avoid its deficiency in the body.
Dairy , Meat and Shellfish
1. Milk & Cheese – Known as a complete food, milk provides essential nutrients including bioavailable zinc. A cup of low-fat milk, which is 250 ml approximately, contains 1.02 mg of zinc. As per studies, The combined consumption of milk protein and wheat protein, e.g., in the form of a breakfast cereal consumed with milk have shown to improve zinc absorption in the body. Drinking milk everyday plays a key role in healthy nutrition among humans and leads to a sustainable and wholesome development throughout their life, but primarily in their childhood. Dairy products like cheese can have a reasonable contribution to dietary zinc intake. Cheese made from cow milk has higher content of dietary zinc. Now that you know that cheese is not just calories, you must make yourself a salad with mozzarella or grate some cheddar and add it to your meal.
2. Meat – An excellent source of dietary zinc, meat must be included in your diet. Red meats like lamb, beef and pork provide a high amount of zinc. To explain this better, 100g of lamb can provide 4.5mg of zinc. Dark meats of poultry like turkey have higher amounts of zinc and can support a required daily value of the essential mineral.
3. Shellfish – Crustaceans are healthy and low-calorie sources of zinc, such as shellfish and crabs provide 3.54 mg of zinc per 100g, crab legs in particular are nutrient-rich with zinc and other essential minerals. Lobsters also provide high zinc content but the highest amount of dietary zinc is found in oysters, which provide 3.54 mg per 100g making it an excellent source of zinc.
Vegetables and Legumes
4. Mushrooms – The antioxidant-rich fungi absorb essential minerals from soil and organic matter. Mushrooms are an excellent source of bioavailable zinc. One cup of shiitake mushrooms provides 1.8 mg of zinc, which is a good amount to reach the necessary daily value.
5. Spinach – This green veggie is a powerhouse of nutrition, which provides 0.8 mg of zinc per 100g of serving. Spinach is known to reduce oxidative stress and improve bone health. Besides, zinc is also a good source of micronutrients like iron and manganese.
6. Chickpeas – They are a super healthy plant-based source of zinc. A cup of chickpeas everyday can provide you 2.5 mg of zinc. You can boil them or have them sprouted, which helps increase the absorption of essential minerals like zinc.
7. Raspberries – A tasty addition to your breakfast cereal or fruit salad, raspberries are powerful antioxidants. Eating a cup of raspberries everyday can provide 0.5mg of zinc to your diet.
8. Pomegranate – Considered one of the best fruits to boost immunity and reduce inflammation, pomegranate is an excellent source of zinc. You can obtain 0.6mg of zinc from 100g of pomegranate, which is 6% of your needed daily value .
Nuts and Seeds
9. Almonds - Almonds are considered as a daily healthy food and a rich source of zinc. Having a handful of almonds everyday can provide you with this essential mineral. Around 8-10 almonds contain 0.9 mg zinc, which helps in supplementing zinc deficiency.
10. Cashew – They make for a healthy on-the-go snack as they provide 5.6mg of zinc per 100gms. You can have them raw or roasted and can treat yourself with these tasty munchies for they make a great snack option.
11. Pumpkin Seeds – You must definitely include pumpkin seeds in your healthy snacking routine. Researchers have determined that every 100 g of pumpkins seeds contains 7.99 mg of zinc. So don’t forget to sprinkle some on your soup or salad to make them a healthier meal.
12. Hemp Seeds – These are packed with nutritious plant compounds and healthy fats. Hemp seeds are a good source of zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for cardiovascular health. Two tablespoons of hemp seeds provide 5 mg of zinc.
Zinc is a powerful natural immunity booster that fights infections and reduces inflammation, thereby strengthening the body’s defenses against illnesses and diseases. It helps in preventing cold, flu and cough and ensures overall wellbeing.
You should consume your minimum daily requirement of zinc in order to keep deficiencies like poor immune function, weak appetite and lethargy at bay. Intake of a healthy balanced diet, which includes foods rich in zinc, can maintain the daily-required value of this important mineral in the body.
We recommend you supplement your diet with Wellbeing Nutrition’s Organic Vitamin C + Zinc tablets that deliver 100% RDA of both these essential nutrients. The unison effect of the two nutrients is highly efficacious and this potent formulation supercharges your body’s immune response to infections and diseases, keeping them at bay. All you need to do is, simply add one tablet to a glass of water and wait till it dissolves to make a zesty orange pick-me-up drink for yourself !
Shkembi B, Huppertz T. Influence of Dairy Products on Bioavailability of Zinc from Other Food Products: A Review of Complementarity at a Meal Level. Nutrients. 2021;13(12):4253. Published 2021 Nov 26. doi:10.3390/nu13124253
Seafood Consumption and Components for Health
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Bioavailability of Micronutrients From Nutrient-Dense Whole Foods: Zooming in on Dairy, Vegetables, and Fruits, Alida Melse-Boonstra
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