Foods Rich in Zinc
Zinc is a vital mineral in the body due to its involvement in adult fertility, growth in kids, healing injuries, metabolic function, protein formation, etc. Zinc is also vital in developing specific senses like smell and taste.
Without adequate zinc in your body, you can develop problems like cracks and glazed appearance on your skin, hair loss, impotence, weight loss, etc.
On the other hand, by consuming too much zinc, you might experience issues like diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Therefore, it’s vital that you know the RDV (recommended daily value) of zinc depending on your gender, male or female.
In addition, you should know the foods rich in zinc. In this review, we’ll discuss several foods rich in zinc, both animal and plant sources, including their zinc composition.
Almonds are rich in many nutrients, including zinc; one ounce should give you about one milligram of zinc. Unlike most other nuts, the benefit of almonds is that you don’t have to eat them whole; you can grind them into flour or squeeze them to make almond milk.
If you’re looking for fruits rich in zinc, look no further than avocados. One avocado should give you roughly 1.25 mg of zinc. Avocados are also rich in many other nutrients and minerals such as protein, sodium, B vitamins, and vitamins C, E and K.
According to one study by the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), eating avocados improves cognitive function and reduces blood pressure.
Beef can still be part and parcel of a health routine, albeit organizations such as the AICR (American Institute for Cancer Research) and The Cleveland Clinic recommend that you consume red meat about twice a week or no more than six ounces a week.
If you’re going to have red meat, ensure it’s a lean cut comprising 90% meat and only 10% fat. This should give you roughly 6 milligrams of zinc per three-ounce serving. This is about 75% of the RDV (recommended daily value).
4. Black Beans
Black beans are plant-based proteins rich in zinc. One cup of cooked black beans should give you about 2 mg of zinc or 25% of the RDV (recommended daily value). Black beans are also rich in other micronutrients like calcium and iron, which improve bone health.
5. Cashew Nuts
Cashews are a rich source of protein, unsaturated fatty acids and zinc. One ounce of cashew nuts should give you roughly 2 mg of zinc.
The benefits of cashews in the body are widespread; they help promote cognitive function and heart health and reduce inflammation. In addition, cashews make you feel fuller for longer, which prevents munching throughout the day, helping you lose weight.
Chicken is considered a lean source of animal protein with an above-average zinc level. 100g of chicken breast or thighs should give you about one milligram of zinc.
Chicken is also rich in B vitamins like B6 and B12. These vitamins help promote heart health, maintain energy levels and regulate mood.
Chickpeas, like most legumes, are rich in zinc; one cup of cooked chickpeas contains roughly three milligrams of zinc. Since they are complex carbs, chickpeas can be slowly broken down by the body and used as an energy source.
Chickpeas are also known to improve activity in the gut by helping foods move quickly. Apart from chickpeas, other legumes rich in zinc are edamame and soybean.
8. Cocoa Powder
Cocoa powder and products made from it, such as dark chocolate, are rich in zinc. A 100g bar of dark chocolate comprises roughly 3.2 mg of zinc.
Cocoa is also very rich in antioxidants such as catechin and epi-catechin, which help boost blood flow and reduce blood pressure and inflammation.
Eggs contain a moderate amount of zinc to help you reach your RDV (recommended daily value. According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), one boiled egg should give you 0.6 mg of zinc or roughly 5% of the RDV.
10. Hemp Seeds
Like pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds are rich in zinc; one ounce should give you roughly 5 mg of zinc. Apart from zinc, hemp seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial in promoting heart health and reducing inflammation in the body.
Lentils are another food in the legume family rich in zinc. One cup of cooked lentils offers roughly 2.5 mg of zinc. In addition, legumes are also a good source of plant-based protein.
Nutritious vegetables like mushrooms have moderate amounts of zinc. According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), one cup of cooked white mushrooms should give you about 0.4 milligrams of zinc.
On the other hand, if you go for rarer mushrooms like shiitake, you can expect to get more zinc, with one cup offering you 1.02 mg of zinc.
Besides zinc, mushrooms are also rich in many other minerals and nutrients like B vitamins; B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9, calcium, iron and magnesium.
Oysters are a vibrant source of zinc. According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), they offer roughly 5.5 mg of zinc per oyster. Oysters are also rich in other minerals and micronutrients like B vitamins and selenium.
You can have your oysters cooked or directly from the shell. Regardless of how you consume them, you should get the immune boost your body needs.
14. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are vital for maintaining health during the post-menopause phase. Pumpkin seeds are also crucial because they promote mental well-being and prostate health. Apart from that, pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc; one cup contains roughly 6.5 mg of zinc.
Yogurt has numerous health benefits, such as maintaining healthy bacteria in the gut and promoting heart health and immune system response. Yogurt is also rich in zinc, with one cup containing roughly 1.5 mg or about 20% of the RDV.
In conclusion, these are the top 15 foods that are rich in zinc. There are plenty more foods rich in zinc, such as broccoli, garlic, mutton, soybean, etc., and we couldn’t exhaust them all. Therefore, feel free to indulge in any of these foods to boost your Zinc intake.