Best Food With Zinc


Did you know that zinc is an essential mineral that helps your body maintain normal growth and development and supports the immune system? The best food sources of zinc are lean meats, seafood, beans and other legumes, soy products (tofu) , nuts and seeds.

Best Food With Zinc

After iron, zinc is the most abundant trace mineral in the body. These two nutrients can often be found in the same food sources, and both are important to overall health and function.

In one day, an adult woman should consume 8 milligrams of zinc while an adult male should consume 11 milligrams. The National Institutes of Health considers 40 milligrams of zinc the maximum an adult should have in a day.

You should speak to a doctor before taking a zinc supplement. Zinc can decrease the effectiveness of some drugs such as antibiotics, Penicillamine (a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis), and Thiazide diuretics (blood pressure drugs). Additionally, oral zinc supplements can cause:

  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting  

Zinc is a vital nutrient and contributes to the following:

Enzyme Function

Zinc is essential so that over 300 enzymes can properly function in the body, and it plays a role in processes like digestion, metabolism, and nerve health. 

Child Growth and Cell Division

Zinc has also been found to contribute to improved growth and development in children and plays a crucial role in cell division.

Slowed Progression of Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a common condition among adults over 50 that causes blurred or reduced central vision. This is due to the thinning of the macula. Studies have shown that zinc might slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration.

Healthy Skin

Zinc is a requirement for skin to function normally and to remain healthy. This is why products containing zinc have been used widely to treat skin conditions, including infections, acne, skin ulcers, and other skin disorders.

Treatment of a Cold

Research suggests that taking a zinc lozenge or syrup within 24 hours of cold symptoms starting can shorten the duration of a cold. However, intranasal zinc (zinc nasal spray) has been linked with the loss of smell which can be permanent.

 Foods That Are High In Zinc

Vegetarians and vegans are also more likely to fall short on the mineral, since it’s harder to absorb the zinc found in plant-based foods than that in animal sources.

To reap the benefits, put the following foods—all good sources of zinc—on your plate often.

1Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seeds on a spoon


If you’re looking for a plant-based zinc source that’s super versatile and easy to add to countless meals, go with pumpkin seeds. An ounce contains not just 2.2 milligrams of zinc (28 percent of a woman’s recommended daily amount), but also a whopping 8.5 grams of plant-based protein. Plus, some evidence suggests that eating a diet rich in pumpkin seeds could lower your risk of some cancers.

Per 1-ounce serving: 158 calories, 13.9 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 2 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 0.4 g sugar, 1.7 g fiber, 8.5 g protein


oat flakes or rolled oats in wooden bowl


What’s not to like about oatmeal? It’s inexpensive, versatile, and endlessly cozy. Not only do oats contain soluble fiber, which has been linked to a lowered risk of heart disease, but half a cup also contains 1.3 milligrams of zinc, which is 16 percent of a woman’s daily need. Consider it yet another reason to love the classic breakfast staple.

Per ½-cup (uncooked) serving: 148 calories, 2.8 g fat (0.4 g saturated), 1.2 mg sodium, 27 g carbs, 0.6 g sugar, 3.8 g fiber, 5.5 g protein


Opened oyster, close up


Per ounce, oysters have the highest zinc concentration of any food. Three ounces of raw oysters contain 32 milligrams of zinc, more than four times the recommended daily intake for the average gal.

Another perk: That same amount of oysters also contains over 100 percent of your daily needs for vitamin B12, which is crucial for your nervous system, metabolism, and healthy blood cells.

Per 3-ounce serving: 50 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 4.5 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 151 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 4 g protein

4Lean Beef

Sirloin Steak


Although experts (like the American Institute for Cancer Research) recommend limiting red meat consumption to no more than a few times a week, lean beef can still be a healthy part of your diet.

Opt for 95 percent lean ground beef or lean cuts (like sirloin) with the fat trimmed, and you’ll score 5.7 milligrams of zinc per four-ounce serving. (That’s a little over 70 percent of the recommended daily value.)

Per 4-ounce serving: 155 calories, 5.65 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 75 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 24 g protein


Spiced Maryland Blue Crabs


Love hammering the meat out of whole boiled crabs? Or, do you prefer the ease (and delicious seasoning) of seared crab cakes?

Either way, three ounces of cooked crab meat contains up to 7 milligrams of zinc, about 88 percent of what women need in a day. While the exact amount of zinc you’ll get varies from species to species, all crabs are great sources of the mineral.

Per 3-ounce serving of Alaskan King crab: 82 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 911 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 15 g protein.

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