The most important mineral your body needs is zinc. And because your body does not produce zinc naturally, zinc should be obtained through diet or supplements. Zinc is part of the body’s vital systems, including cell division, immune function, wound healing, and more.
Many foods, including meat and seafood, contain a good amount of zinc, in addition to foods high in protein such as beans and nuts. Whole grains and dairy products also contain zinc which can help you balance your diet.
Why You Need Zinc?
After iron, zinc is the most abundant trace mineral in the body. These two spices are commonly found in the same food sources, and both are essential for overall health and function.
In one day, an older woman should use 8 milligrams of zinc while an older man should use 11 milligrams. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 40 milligrams of zinc should be consumed per day by an adult.
You should talk to your doctor before taking a zinc supplement. Zinc can reduce the effectiveness of other drugs such as antibiotics, Penicillamine (a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis), and Thiazide diuretics (blood thinners).
Zinc is an essential nutrient and contributes to the following:
Zinc is essential for more than 300 enzymes to function properly in the body, and it plays a role in processes such as digestion, metabolism, and nerve health.
Child Growth and Cell Separation
Zinc has also been found to contribute to better growth and development in children and plays a key role in cell division.
Slowed Progression of Macular Degeneration
Depression is a common condition in adults over the age of 50 that causes blurring or diminished vision. This is due to the reduction of the macula. Studies have shown that zinc may reduce the progression of age-related macular degeneration.
Zinc is a requirement for the skin to function normally and stay healthy. That is why zinc-containing products are widely used to treat skin conditions, including infections, acne, skin ulcers, and other skin disorders.
Studies suggest that taking zinc or syrup within the first 24 hours of cold symptoms may reduce the duration of the flu. However, intranasal zinc (zinc nasal spray) has been linked to potentially permanent odor loss.
Zinc Rich Foods
Zinc is still a major part of a normal diet, especially meat and seafood, as well as whole grains, beans, and nuts. Here are seven zinc-containing foods:
Oysters have the most zinc in any other diet, with 74.1 milligrams per 3-ounce serving of cooked, fried, and fried oysters. That is 673% of the total daily value.
Another zinc-rich shellfish is crab. One serving of Alaskan crab cooked (3 ounces) contains 6.48 milligrams of zinc, equivalent to 59% of the daily value. Eat more mussels to get the maximum amount of zinc in your daily diet.
Red meat, especially beef, packs a lot of zinc. A 3-ounce serving of beef tenderloin gives you 8.44 milligrams of zinc.
Piglets also provide a lot of iron and zinc to help you collect your food. A supply of 4 ounces of pork chops contains 2 milligrams of zinc.
In addition to oysters and crab meat, lobster is also another shellfish that contains a lot of zinc. One small lobster contains 4.74 milligrams of zinc. Combine your lobster with beans or peas and enjoy this zinc-filled dish.
Legumes, including beans and nuts, contain high amounts of zinc. Chickpeas are a great source of this ingredient. One serving of chickpeas (100 grams) contains 1.5 milligrams of zinc.
Peanuts make a great meal all day, and many sources are good sources of zinc for your daily balanced diet. Shares, for example, contain 3 milligrams of zinc in one package or 56 grams. Shares are a great way to increase your zinc intake throughout the day.
Legumes such as chicks, lentils, and beans all contain large amounts of zinc. In fact, 100 grams of cooked lentils contain about 12% of DV. However, they also contain phytates. These drugs inhibit the absorption of zinc and other minerals, meaning that zinc from legumes is not as absorbed as zinc from animal products.
Apart from this, they can be an important source of zinc for people who follow vegan or vegetarian diets. They are also an excellent source of protein and fiber and can be easily added to soups, stews, and salads. Heating, germination, immersion, or boiling of zinc plant sources such as legumes can increase the availability of this mineral.
Seeds are a healthy addition to your diet and can help increase your zinc intake. However, some seeds prefer better than others. For example, 3 tablespoons (30 grams) of hemp seeds contain 31% and 43% of the recommended daily diet for men and women, respectively.
Other zinc-containing seeds include squash, pumpkin, and sesame seeds. In addition to supplementing your zinc diet, seeds contain fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, making them a great addition to your diet.
Involvement as part of a healthy diet has been linked to other health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. To add hemp seeds, flax, pumpkin, or squash to your diet, you can try it in salads, soups, yogurts, or other foods.
Eating nuts such as pine nuts, peanuts, cakes, and almonds can increase your zinc intake. Peanuts also contain other healthy nutrients, including healthy fats and fiber, as well as many other vitamins and minerals.
If you want a high nut with zinc, cashews can be a good choice. 1-ounce (28-gram) active one contains 15% DV. Peanuts are also light and easy food and are linked to reducing risk factors for other diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Also, people who eat nuts tend to stay longer than those who do not, making nuts a very healthy addition to your diet.
Dairy foods such as cheese and milk provide a lot of nutrients, including zinc. Milk and cheese are two notable sources, as they contain the highest amount of zinc available, which means that most of the zinc in these foods can be absorbed by your body.
For example, 100 grams of cheddar cheese contains about 28% of DV, while one cup of saturated fat milk contains about 9%. These foods also come with other nutrients that are considered essential for bone health, including protein, calcium, and vitamin D.
Eggs contain a moderate amount of zinc and can help you meet your daily target. For example, 1 large egg contains 5% DV.
This comes with 77 calories, 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of healthy fat, and a host of other vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins and selenium. Whole eggs are also an important source of choline, a nutrient that most people do not get enough of.
Whole grains such as wheat, quinoa, rice, and oats contain zinc. However, like legumes, grains contain phytates, which bind zinc and reduce its absorption. Whole grains contain more phytates than refined versions and may give less zinc.
However, they are much better for your health and are a good source of many important nutrients such as fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium.
In fact, whole grains have been linked to longevity and some other health benefits, including a reduced risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Generally, fruits and vegetables are bad sources of zinc. However, some vegetables contain the right amount and can affect your daily needs, especially if you do not eat meat.
Potatoes, both common and sugary varieties, contain about 1 mg for large potatoes, which is 9% of DV. Some vegetables such as green beans and kale contain less, about 3% DV per 100 grams.
Although they do not contain a lot of zinc, eating a diet rich in vegetables has been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Perhaps surprisingly, dark chocolate contains the right amount of zinc. In fact, a 100-gram (3.5-ounce) bar of 70-85% dark chocolate contains 3.3 mg of zinc or 30% DV.
However, 100 grams of dark chocolate also contains 600 calories. So while providing healthy nutrients, it is a high-calorie diet. While you can get extra nutrients through your treatment, it is not the diet you should rely on as your main source of zinc.
What foods are highest in zinc?
Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, certain types of seafood (such as crab and lobster), whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products.
Which vegetables contain zinc?
Did you know that nutritious vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, kale, and garlic contain zinc, as well as other vital vitamins and minerals? One cup of sliced raw mushrooms contains about 3 percent (0.4 mg) of the daily value of zinc, according to the USDA.
Can I take zinc everyday?
People use oral zinc to help treat colds, but it can decrease the effectiveness of certain drugs and cause side effects. The recommended daily amount of zinc is 8 milligrams (mg) for women and 11 mg for adult men.