17 Foods that Are Rich Sources of Zinc

Zinc is an important mineral needed by the body, and is especially crucial for healthy hair and skin. Zinc deficiency results from inadequate absorption, reduced dietary intake, or increased loss of the mineral from the body.

Zinc Deficiency Symptoms

  • Hair loss
  • Growth and development problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye and skin conditions
  • Impotence
  • Weight loss
  • Mental slowness
  • Delayed wound healing
  • And loss of appetite

Zinc-Rich Foods

While zinc supplements may be an option, it is always a better choice to get your vitamins and minerals through your diet instead. Since the average male only needs 11 milligrams and females need about 8 milligrams of the mineral, it is easy for many to meet these needs through foods. Below is a list of some of the foods highest in zinc that will help you reach these daily needs.

1. Pumpkin Seeds

Perhaps one of the most zinc rich foods, pumpkin seeds really pack a punch with 7.8 mg of zinc in one handful of seeds. Add some to your pasta or salad, or just munch on them for a great snack that’s full of protein, omega-3, and zinc.

2. Spinach

Spinach is rich in vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A, folate, and, of course, zinc. In fact, two servings of spinach will deliver 1 gram of zinc and cost you just under 50 calories. Try some cooked spinach for dinner, or swap out your iceberg and romaine lettuce for spinach in your salad.

3. Flax Seeds

Zinc, omega-3, and fiber are the three power-house substances in flax seeds. A typical serving of flax seeds will get female adults more than halfway to their daily suggested value of zinc, with 5 mg of the mineral in a 100 mg serving.

4. Oysters

If you eat oysters often, you will almost never be low on zinc; a 100 mg serving can deliver anywhere from 18-182 mg of zinc (depending on their size). While your body can usually rid itself of extra zinc, you can indeed have too much of a good thing, so be sure not to eat oysters too often!

5. Brown Rice

Not only is brown rice better for you than white, but it also contains 2.2 mg of zinc in a 100 mg serving.

6. Crab

Another delicatessen that is rich in zinc; this underwater creature can help you reach your daily zinc needs as one serving provides 2.8 mg of the mineral.

7. Garlic

Not only does garlic contain antifungal properties and many antioxidants, but it is also a good source of zinc. Incorporate more garlic into your cooking and you can gain 1.16 mg of zinc in just a 100 mg serving.

8. Turkey

Make yourself a turkey sandwich or enjoy an extra helping of the bird this holiday season. A standard serving of turkey will deliver 3.09 mg of zinc and is an excellent lean protein option.

9. Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are a great source of protein and fiber in addition to zinc. One of the most potent sources of zinc, kidney beans contains 2.8 mg of the mineral in a standard 100 gram serving.

10. Lobster

As if anybody needs an excuse to eat more lobster, a typical serving will provide you with almost a whole day’s recommended DV with 7.27 mg per serving. Just try not to drown the thing in butter, or the zinc intake is almost not worth the calories.

11. Dark Chocolate

Not only is dark chocolate good for your heart (and tastebuds), but it is also a good source of zinc; dark chocolate contains 9.6 mg of zinc in a 100 mg serving.

12. Salmon

Another reason to incorporate more salmon into your diet: the fish can deliver just under 1 mg of zinc in a standard 100 mg serving. It is also rich in heart-and brain-healthy omega-3s.

13. Chickpeas

Whether you call them chickpeas or garbanzo beans, this legume is rich in protein, fiber, and contains 3.43 mg of zinc.

14. Mushrooms

Regardless of which variety you prefer, most mushrooms provide over 7 mg of zinc per 100 mg serving.

15. Shrimp

Shrimp is a great source of lean protein and antioxidants, as well as zinc. A 100 gram serving of shrimp will deliver 1.34 mg of zinc.

16. Lamb

Another protein option rich in zinc, a serving of lamb will give you 8.66 mg of zinc.

17. Cashews

A great snack full of omega-3 and protein, cashews also provide just over 5 mg of zinc in every serving.

With this long list of zinc-rich foods, you should never fear zinc deficiency again. By eating a well-balanced diet full of zinc-rich foods, you can help improve your overall health and increase the vibrancy and youthful appearance of your hair and skin.


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