When we think of important dietary nutrients and minerals, zinc is a mineral that is often overlooked. We instead tend to focus on minerals such as iron, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, which means that zinc sometimes just doesn’t get a look in. Today however, we’re going to be looking at 7 foods high in zinc to highlight just how important this mineral really is. Zinc is a mineral which plays an essential role in numerous physiological processes within the human body. Zinc deficiencies are very common in modern society, and they are responsible for all manner of physical and metabolic ailments which is why getting plenty of foods high in zinc is so important. Zinc plays essential roles in everything from the production of testosterone to the healthy functioning of the immune system. If your diet is lacking in zinc, your health will suffer as a result. To help you get more of this important mineral in your body, here’s a look at 6 foods high in zinc.
Red meat – If you’re a fan of steak then we’ve got some good news for you. For those of you who happen to be lacking in zinc, red meat is one of the best sources of this mineral in the entire world. 100 grams of red meat provides around 4.8mg of zinc. To give you a little context, 4.8mg of zinc is around 44% of your recommended daily intake for zinc. In terms of protein content, you’d be looking at around 20g of protein, and between 170 and 200 calories, depending on which cut of meat you went for. As it is so rich in protein and amino acids, red meat is considered ideal for people looking to build muscle mass.
Nuts – Okay, no immature comments about eating nuts, or having nuts in your mouth etc, we’re all adults here. If you’re looking to up your zinc intake, nuts are perfect. The great thing about nuts is that all nuts are considered to be great examples of foods high in zinc, so you can mix and match and get adventurous. The great thing about nuts is the fact that they’re so convenient because you can eat them as they are, making them a great snack food. Cashew nuts in particular, are a great source of zinc as 28 grams of cashew nuts will provide you with 15% of your recommended daily intake for zinc. As an added bonus, nuts are also rich in amino acids, healthy fats, proteins, and other essential minerals. When choosing nuts, be sure to avoid nuts with artificial flavourings as these are no good for you. Ideally you want natural nuts, with nothing added and nothing taken away.
Seeds – If you’re looking for a healthy zinc-boosting snack food that isn’t nut-related, might we suggest seeds? Seeds are ideal as they contain healthy fats, vitamins, and essential minerals including zinc. Hemp seeds are a great source of protein and healthy fats, with the added bonus of also being rich in zinc. 3 level tablespoons of hemp seeds will provide you with just over 30% of your recommended daily zinc intake for men, or 43% for women, who require more from dietary sources. Seeds can be eaten whole as snacks, they can be sprinkled on foods, mixed into cereal, or even added to smoothies.
Shellfish – Shellfish such as oysters and crab are also foods high in zinc that you should try to get more of on a regular basis. Oysters in particular, are very high in zinc as a typical serving of oysters, (6 average sized oysters) will provide you with 32mg of zinc, which make it one of the top oysters benefits. To give you an idea of how much that is, 32mg of zinc will provide you with 291% of your minimum recommended daily intake for zinc. Crab isn’t quite as high as 100g will provide you with 7.6mg, or 69% of your recommended daily intake, which is still very impressive. Shellfish is also convenient as it is ready to eat, it’s low in calories, and it’s rich in protein for building muscle. Oh, and it’s also delicious too.
Eggs – Eggs aren’t just a great versatile food when you want something high in protein for breakfast. Eggs are the perfect food for anybody looking to increase their daily zinc intakes. Eggs are high in protein, rich in essential and non-essential amino acids, and are classed as a complete source of protein for that very reason. On top of that, eggs also contain selenium, choline, and B vitamins making them great for the immune system, brain, and metabolism respectively. Oh, and as for their zinc contents, 1 egg will provide you with around 5% of your minimum daily intake for zinc, which is certainly not to be sniffed at.
Dairy – Dairy, I.E milk, cheese, and cream, is also fantastic for anybody looking to increase their daily zinc intakes. Dairy is high in protein, it contains good fats, and it contains plenty of bioavailable zinc. This basically means that the zinc it contains can easily be absorbed by your body. 100g of cheese will provide you with around 28% of your minimum daily intake of zinc, while a cup of milk will give you just shy of 10%.
As you can see, there are plenty of foods high in zinc, so if you’re worried you aren’t getting enough of this mineral, be sure to stock up on the foods listed today the next time you’re grocery shopping.