The following foods are important sources of zinc and can help you boost your daily intake.
Eating a variety of seafood can help you prevent zinc deficiency. Oysters are one of the most incredible sources of the mineral; a single medium oyster contains an impressive 5.3 mg of zinc. Oysters are also high in protein and low in calories, and they are rich in other nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin B12, iron, and selenium. If you don’t care much for oysters, crab and lobster are great alternatives offering 6.5 mg and 3.4 mg of zinc per serving, respectively. Smaller shellfish like shrimp and mussels also contain modest amounts.
Beef, pork, and lamb are decent sources of zinc as well as protein, iron, B vitamins, and creatine. As a result, consuming small amounts of red meat can be beneficial as long as you avoid anything processed and opt for high-quality products, such as grass-fed red beef as part of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. Poultry such as chicken and turkey are another source of zinc as well as B vitamins. They are also rich in protein but, unlike red meat, low in calories and fat, so they are a viable choice if you are watching your weight.
Eggs are a moderate source of zinc with one large egg providing about 5 percent of the Daily Value (DV). They are also an outstanding source of protein, healthy fats, and several nutrients, including choline, a vital nutrient for brain function, liver health, metabolism, and the nervous system. So, consuming a few eggs each week can not only help you reach your zinc quota but also get several extra nutrients your body needs.
Chickpeas, lentils, beans, and edamame, are all sources of zinc, although there is a catch; absorbing it is much harder since legumes also contain phytates, natural compounds that prevent mineral nutrient absorption. Nevertheless, this food group is still a good option for vegetarians and vegans. It is also a superb source of protein and dietary fiber while offering an array of other minerals, vitamins, and micronutrients with numerous health-promoting benefits.
Nuts are an extremely versatile food group and make a fantastic healthy snack as they contain a host of vital nutrients. Among them, cashews are a good choice to boost your zinc intake, offering 15 percent of the DV. Pine nuts come with a respectable 12 percent of the DV for every serving, and almonds contribute a modest 6 percent along with an incredible variety of other nutrients such as vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium. All in all, nuts are an excellent addition to a healthy diet plan because they promote optimal health, improve cardiovascular function, fight inflammation, reduce cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure.
Seeds are nature’s little wonders; tiny, but packed with a remarkable variety of essential nutrients. Some of them happen to be great zinc sources as well. For instance, hemp seeds contain 31 percent of the DV in three tablespoons. Pumpkin seeds come with a spectacular 6.7 mg per serving (45 percent of the DV) and several incredible health-promoting benefits. Other options include flax and squash seeds. Sprinkle a handful of the seeds of your choice over your salad, soup, yogurt, or cereal.
Fruit and Vegetables
Generally speaking, fruit and vegetables are rather poor sources of zinc. However, some foods are exceptions worth mentioning. Mushrooms are a fantastic vegetarian zinc source offering 9 percent of the DV per serving. Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse that also contains1.4 mg of zinc per cup. Finally, avocados (technically a fruit) are one of the healthiest foods in existence and provide 8 percent of the DV in zinc.
You can find modest amounts of zinc in whole wheat, quinoa, rice, and oats. While phytates tend to prevent absorption, whole grains also provide other essential nutrients such as fiber, B complex vitamins, as well as minerals, including magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium. In other words, eating whole grains leads to better health and longevity while making a small contribution to your daily zinc intake.