Top 10 Zinc Rich Foods You Must Include in Your Diet
Zinc is an essential element which is required in very minute quantities for growth, development, and physiology of human beings. It plays an important role in many enzymatic reactions carried out within the body. Zinc is found in cells throughout our body and our body does not store it.
We seldom listen about zinc deficiency from anyone, probably because people are not aware of it. This post is dedicated to zinc-rich foods which we ignore most of the times.
Why do we need Zinc?
Before reading about zinc-rich foods, we should know why zinc is essential for our body. Let’s check out its functions.
- Zinc helps in healthy cell division.
- It has antioxidant properties which prevent the free radical effect and cancer risk.
- Zinc stimulates the production of blood in the body and helps in wound healing.
- It also helps in protein digestion.
- Zinc is very important during pregnancy, infancy, childhood, and lactating women for growth and development.
Dietary Recommendations of Zinc
To carry out all the functions our body requires a specific amount of particular nutrients. Dietary recommendations of zinc are
- Adult men and women require 11 mg and 8mg of zinc per day respectively.
- Pregnant and Lactating mother requires 11 and 132 mg of zinc per day.
Zinc Deficiency Symptoms:
Deficiency of Zinc causes adverse effects to our health as it is very important in several enzymatic reactions and is present throughout the body.
It can cause
- poor immunity,
- hair loss,
- sleep disturbances,
- damaged skin,
- difficulty in concentration and
Zinc Rich Foods:
Below are some zinc rich foods
Seafood is a great source of zinc especially Shellfish. Kinds of seafood rich in zinc are crabs, lobsters, oysters, shrimp, mussels, etc which are very low in calories and high in nutrition. Seafood provides essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
100 grams of basic oysters(Mollusks) contain 16.62 mg of zinc which is pretty high. Crabs are also a great source of zinc. 100 grams of Crabs contain 7.6 mg of zinc
Meat is protein-rich, healthy and low in calories. Beef, pork, and chicken are a great source of zinc.
100 grams of chicken breast contains 1 mg of zinc and 100 grams of beef contains 4.8 mg of zinc.
However, eating red meat increases the risk of cancer and heart diseases. But it is also rich in many vitamins and minerals like vitamin B, iron, etc.
Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrients. It contains protein, and minerals like selenium, manganese, and zinc. Eggs are also very rich in vitamins like vitamin E, folate, and almost every vitamin in trace amounts. It is also rich in choline which helps in brain development, muscle development, and metabolism.
1 large Egg contains 0.66 mg of Zinc
Dairy products include milk, curd, yogurt, cheese, butter. They are an excellent source of good fats, proteins, calcium and much more. Especially for vegetarians, milk and milk products are a very essential source of many animal-based nutrients. Dairy products also help to improve bone health and reproductive health.
- Yogurt is extremely nutritious and tasty. It contains vitamins such as Vitamin A, B12, E, etc. It is also rich in minerals like calcium and zinc.
- 100 grams of yogurt contains 0.5 mg of zinc.
- Swiss cheese is full of protein and calcium. It also contains saturated fats in it. So it is recommended to consume it in moderation.
- 100 grams of Swiss Cheese contains 4.4 mg of zinc.
Nuts are an excellent combination of healthy carbs, protein, and good fats. Some nuts rich in zinc are
- Cashews are a delicious snack and it has a decent amount of zinc. They are also rich in iron and copper. It contains mono and poly-saturated fatty acids. It also strengthens our heart.
- 100 grams of cashews has 5.7 mg of zinc.
- One of the most delicious and nutritious nuts are almonds. Almonds are excellent for weight loss. They are rich in vitamins, proteins, and fiber.
- 100 grams of almonds contain 3 mg of zinc.
- Peanuts are extremely beneficial for a healthy heart. It contains magnesium, copper, niacin, oleic acid, etc. Peanuts are high in protein and it keeps you full for a long period of time. Peanuts are very good in taste and are used in a number of Indian gravies. The best way to consume it is in its roasted form as a snack. It is one of the best zinc rich foods.
- 100 grams of peanuts contains 3.2 mg of zinc.
6. Whole Grains
Whole Grains such as wheat, oats, rice contains zinc. These whole grains are rich in fiber, Vitamin B series, selenium, manganese, iron, etc. All these nutrients help in growth and nourishment. Phytates prest in whole grains may prevent its complete absorption but partial absorption also improves the zinc levels.
- Brown rice which is said to be essential for weight loss is also rich in zinc. It also regulates blood sugar levels and helps in treating diabetes.
- 100 grams of brown rice contains 0.6 grams of zinc.
- Oats are high in nutrition. It has necessary fibers in it. One of the most savored breakfasts is oatmeal. It supports the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
- 100 grams of Oats contains 3.9 mg of zinc.
Legumes like lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas are a very good source of Zinc. Like whole grains, legumes are also high in phytates which may hamper the absorption of zinc. Despite this, legumes are a very rich source of zinc.
Cooking, heating and fermenting helps in the absorption of zinc from legumes. This makes it an excellent source of zinc and other nutrients for vegetarians.
Legumes are also protein and fiber-rich. It keeps you full for a longer period of time and helps to reduce the glycemic index of the entire meal.
- Chickpeas or chole are extremely tasty and nutritious. They are rich in protein and fiber which makes them good food for weight loss. They help in the regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol. Chickpeas are also rich in zinc. It is one of the best zinc rich foods.
- 100 grams of chickpeas contain 1.5 mg of zinc.
- Kidney Beans contain a good amount of protein and fiber. It allows the blood sugar level to rise slowly in the blood. It is best for diabetics.
- 100 grams of kidney beans contains 2.8 mg of zinc.
Vegetables generally are not a very good source of zinc but many veggies contain considerable amounts. Some of them are
- Potatoes which contain approximately 0.35 gram of zinc per 100 grams of potatoes
- Spinach contains a good amount of zinc (1). It is low in calories and has high nutritive value. Spinach is an excellent veggie for weight loss. It is high in vitamin A and iron.
- 100 grams of spinach contains 0.66 milligrams of zinc which is about 9% of daily requirement.
- Garlic is a low calorie and highly nutritious food. It is known to increase the flavor and aroma of food. It is beneficial in treating blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. Therefore it is good for cardiological health. Regular consumption of garlic provides us essential zinc levels in our body.
- 100 grams of garlic contains 1.17 mg of Zinc
- Peas are low in cholesterol and fats. It is a low-calorie food. Peas are rich in lutein which is known for preventing cataracts and macular degeneration. They prove a tasty and healthy snack option or simply in your salads, biryanis, etc.
- 100 grams of peas contain 1.2 mg of zinc.
Seeds are a rich source of zinc and other nutrients. Including seeds in your diet improves the overall nutrient of the entire meal.
Hemp seeds are a very good source of zinc. Hemp seed oil also has many other benefits.
- Pumpkin seeds are rich in anti-oxidants and phytoestrogens. It helps in maintaining cholesterol levels. 100 grams of pumpkin seeds contain 10.3 mg of zinc which is pretty high.
- Flax seeds are very high in nutrition. They are high in zinc too. 100 grams of flaxseeds contain 4.3 mg of zinc.
- We all love til laddu(sesame jaggery balls). But were unaware that they are rich in Zinc and strengthen our immune system. 100 grams of zinc contains 7.8 mg of zinc. It is one of the best zinc rich foods.
- Watermelon seeds are rich in zinc. When you bring watermelon home separate the seeds and dry it. You can eat the seeds or grind it and add to any of your recipes.
10. Cocoa Powder :
One of the things we love is chocolate and everything made from it. We never knew that cocoa powder is rich in zinc. It is also rich in flavonoids that boost immunity. 100 grams of zinc contains 6.6 mg of zinc.
Consumption of all these zinc-rich foods will prevent us from the deficiency of zinc. If you are zinc deficient consult a doctor and take zinc supplements that will help you to restore the zinc levels and get healthy.
Hope this helps you. Write to me about your feedback and how it helped you.