The zinc foods are an essential mineral. It needs to maintain its sense of smell, maintain a healthy immune system, build proteins, activate enzymes, and create DNA. Zinc also helps communicate your body’s cells by functioning as a neurotransmitter.
Zinc deficiency can lead to stunted growth, diarrhea, impotence, hair loss, eye, and skin damage, loss of appetite, and decreased immunity.
Conversely, consuming too much zinc can cause nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headaches in the short term and interrupt the absorption of copper and iron in the long term.
Foods rich in zinc include oysters, beef, chicken, tofu, pork, nuts, seeds, lentils, yogurt, oatmeal, and mushrooms.
It is required for the functions of more than 300 enzymes and is involved in many vital processes in your body.
It metabolizes nutrients, supports your immune system, and grows and improves body tissues.
Your body does not store zinc, so you must eat enough to make sure you meet your daily needs.
It is recommended that men eat 11 mg of zinc per day, while women need 8 mg. However, if you are pregnant, you will need 11 mg per day, and if you are breastfeeding, you will need 12 mg.
Some people are at risk for zinc deficiency, including young children, adolescents, the elderly, and pregnant or lactating women.
However, eating a balanced and healthy diet with foods rich in zinc should satisfy everyone’s needs.
1. Whole Grain
Whole grains offer numerous health benefits. Packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and, you guessed it, zinc, 1 cup of raw oatmeal has about 26 percent (2.9 mg) of the daily value for zinc, while the same amount of cooked brown rice has 13 percent (1.38 mg).
And one slice of whole-wheat bread contains 5 percent (0.6 mg). Another whole grain full of zinc is quinoa, used in this Damn Delicious quinoa chili recipe.
Eating nuts like pine nuts, peanuts, cashews, and almonds can increase your zinc intake.
Walnuts also contain other healthy nutrients, such as healthy fats and fibers, as well as several other vitamins and minerals.
If you are looking for a zinc-rich walnut, cashews are a great choice. A 1-ounce (27-gram) serving contains 15% of the DV.
Walnuts are also a quick and easy snack and have been linked to a reduction in risk factors for diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Also, people who eat walnuts live longer than those who don’t, which makes walnuts a very healthy addition to their diet.
3. Breakfast Cereals
Breakfast cereals are enriched with many vitamins and minerals, including zinc. Overall, 1 cup provides about 25 percent (2.8 mg) of the RDA for zinc, according to the NIH. Check the nutrition facts label to see how much you get from your favorite.
When looking at the nutrition label, also look for added sugar. According to an analysis of 1,556 grains by the Environmental Working Group, the vast majority of grains are too sweet to be considered healthy, with about two teaspoons of sugar per serving.
Many nutritionists recommend looking for a breakfast cereal that contains no more than 6 g of sugar per serving (again, usually 1 cup) and has whole grains as the first ingredient in the list. He says Total, Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, and Rice Chex are quite healthy options.
Seeds are a healthy supplement to your nutrition and can help increase your zinc consumption. However, some seeds are better options than others.
For example, three tablespoons (30 grams) of hemp seeds contain 32% and 44% of the recommended daily intake for men and women.
Other seeds that contain significant amounts of zinc include pumpkin, squash, and sesame seeds.
In addition to increasing your zinc intake, the seeds contain fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, making them an excellent addition to your diet.
Including them as part of a healthy diet has also been linked to some health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
To add hemp, flax, squash, or pumpkin seeds to your diet, try adding them to salads, soups, yogurt, or other foods.
Beef, pork, and chicken not only contain protein but provide a decent serving of zinc. According to the USDA, most nutritious cuts choose lean meats like 90 percent lean beef, pork loin, and boneless chicken breast.
According to the USDA, just 1 cup of minced skinless roasted chicken breast provides 19 percent (2.13 mg) of the RDA for zinc.
While the jury isn’t yet aware of what came first, the eggs also contain zinc, roughly 5 percent (0.6 mg) per large egg, by the USDA, so crack one today.
Don’t worry if you are a vegetarian or vegan. There are many non-meat sources of zinc on this list. Also, you do your body well by filling your plate with plants.
Seafood is a healthy source of low-calorie zinc. Oysters contain unusually large amounts, with six medium-sized oysters providing 31 mg or 292% of the RDI.
Other types of shellfish contain less zinc than oysters but are still good sources.
Alaska crab contains 7.5 mg per 100 grams (3.5 grams), 69% of the RDI. Smaller seafood, such as shrimp and clams, are also good sources, both containing 15% of the RDI per 100 grams (3.5 ounces).
However, if you are pregnant, make sure the seafood is thoroughly cooked before eating it, to minimize the risk of food poisoning.
Fruits and vegetables are familiar sources of zinc.
However, some vegetables contain reasonable amounts and contribute to your daily needs, especially if you don’t eat meat.
Potatoes, both regular and sweet varieties, contain approximately 1 mg per large potato, which is 9% of the RDI.
Other vegetables like green beans and kale contain less than 3% of the RDI per 100 grams.
Although not high in zinc, eating a diet high in vegetables has been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
8. Mushrooms And Kale
Did you know that nutritious vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, kale, and garlic contain zinc and other essential vitamins and minerals? A cup of raw sliced mushrooms contains about 3 percent (0.4 mg) of the daily value for zinc. Kale provides about the same amount (0.3 mg) in 1 cooked cup.
Adding these foods to your diet will give you an extraordinary dose of zinc without adding several calories to your daily total. Mushrooms have only 20 calories in 3 oz., plus a considerable amount of B vitamin riboflavin, according to the USDA.
This bivalve is a zinc power station packaged at 5.4 mg per raw oyster, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
That means one oyster gives you 50 percent of the recommended amount of zinc, making oysters an excellent source of the mineral.
This seafood is also low in calories, at just seven calories per oyster, and is packed with other valuable vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12 and selenium.
Try cooked, canned, or semi-shelled oysters; however, if you serve them, you’ll get a tasty treat and possibly a more muscular immune system to boot, thanks to their zinc content.
What a sweet surprise! Another exciting fact about dark chocolate is that it is a source of zinc.
And the more mysterious, the better: In general, 60 to 69 percent cocoa varieties contain almost 7 percent (0.75 mg) of the recommended daily value per ounce, while 70 to 80 percent cocoa varieties percent contain about 8 percent (0.91 mg).
However, that’s not all: dark chocolate may have some vascular benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow, due to its flavanol content, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
While dark chocolate maybe your favorite source of zinc, remember you’re not the only one: To keep calories and sugar under control, don’t limit yourself to more than 1 oz per day.
Zinc foods are an essential mineral, and eating enough is vital to maintaining good health.
The best way to make sure you’re getting enough is to eat a varied diet with good sources of zinc, such as meat, seafood, nuts, seeds, legumes, and dairy products.
Zinc foods can be an easy and delicious addition to your diet.
If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough zinc from your diet, consider talking to your healthcare provider about taking a supplement.