Food With High Zinc And Copper


Food With High Zinc And Copper, In contrast to the typical sugar-laden breakfast cereal and overly sweet school lunch, a healthy diet that is rich in zinc, copper and antioxidants can help children and adolescents grow healthy.

Food With High Zinc And Copper

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.

Foods Highest in Copper


per 6 Oysters
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(419% DV)
(493% DV)
(1249% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Cooked Eastern Oysters (Wild).(Source)

More Shellfish High in Copper

  • 176% DV in 1 leg of Alaskan King crab
  • 146% DV in 3oz of lobster
  • 145% DV in 20 small clams

See all fish high in copper.

Shiitake Mushrooms2Shiitake Mushrooms

per Cup Cooked
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(144% DV)
(100% DV)
(356% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Cooked Shiitake Mushrooms.(Source)

More Mushrooms High in Copper

  • 87% DV in 1 cup of white button mushrooms
  • 52% DV in 1 cup of portobellos
  • 48% DV in 1 cup of cremini mushrooms

See the list of high copper vegetables.

A block of tofu3Firm Tofu

per Cup
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(106% DV)
(42% DV)
(58% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Firm Tofu.(Source)

More Soy Foods High in Copper

  • 78% DV in 1 cup of boiled soybeans
  • 53% DV in 1 cup of medium firm tofu
  • 44% DV in a 16oz glass of soy milk

See all beans and legumes high in copper.

Sweet Potatoes4Sweet Potatoes

per Cup Mashed
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(79% DV)
(31% DV)
(61% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Mashed Sweet Potatoes.(Source)

More Vegetables High in Copper

  • 40% DV in 1 cup of cooked turnip greens
  • 37% DV in a baked potato
  • 35% DV in 1 cup of cooked spinach

See the list of high copper vegetables.

Sesame Seeds5Sesame Seeds

per Oz
per 100g
per 200 Calories
(78% DV)
(274% DV)
(97% DV)

Nutrition Facts for Sesame Seeds (Toasted).(Source)

More Seeds High in Copper

  • 58% DV per oz of sunflower seeds
  • 50% DV per oz of hemp seeds
  • 42% DV per oz of dried pumpkin and squash seeds

5 foods to improve copper intake through your diet

Updated on: 24 January 2022, 15:03 pm IST

When it comes to copper, neither excessive intake nor a deficiency is good for your health. But it’s an important mineral to take through foods.

copper rich foods
Seeds and nuts can give you copper. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Listen to this article

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the focus has shifted to diet and healthy eating in the last two years. People are now more careful about their daily diet and nutrient intake. When it comes to healthy eating, to keep our energy level high and immunity strong, it’s important to include all the essential nutrients, natural sugar, vitamins and minerals. While some people pay more attention to their vitamin intake, they tend to forget minerals in their diet. However, minerals are also important for your body to stay healthy. And copper is one mineral you must be mindful of.

Why your body needs copper?

Like all the other nutrients, copper is also essential for survival. It is an essential trace mineral that is necessary for many body functions such as energy production, boosting brain health, and supporting your immune system, bones and nerves. Moreover, you need copper because it works with iron to help the body form red blood cells and tissues.

copper rich foods
Add copper to your diet right away! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

To understand more about copper, HealthShots got in touch with Deepti Khatuja, Head Clinical Nutritionist, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram. She says, “Copper is one of the trace elements which our body needs in small amounts, but it is very important to keep us healthy.”

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Here’s why copper is so important for your health:

  • Copper is needed by different enzymes in our body, which in turn are involved in a wide range of functions. For example, copper helps our bodies produce energy and helps to form important neurotransmitters, which support the healthy function of our brain and nervous system.
  • Copper is also needed to form our connective tissue, supports the production of melanin in our skin, and helps the transport of iron in the body.
  • Copper works with iron to help the body form red blood cells. It also helps keep the blood vessels, nerves, immune system, and bones healthy.
  • Copper also aids in iron absorption.

Keep in mind that deficiency of copper can result in anemia, vascular complications, osteoporosis, and neurological manifestations. It is needed only in small amounts, but plays a vital role in day-to-day body functions. Also, both deficiency and excess of copper is harmful and can impact one’s health. So, consume it in moderation.

Also, note, your body cannot make its own copper, so it is important that you get it from foods. Foods rich in copper include a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and meats that contain good amounts of copper.

Good food sources of copper:

1. Oyster

Copper is a mineral that is found in several types of seafood including oysters, a type of shellfish. Oysters provide 7.6 mg per 100 grams which can fulfill your daily copper requirement. Moreover, oysters are also a good source of vitamin D, zinc, and manganese.

2. Dark leafy greens

Green vegetables such as spinach and raw kale are really very nutritious and also have a very high copper content with low calories. In addition, they are also rich in nutrients like fiber, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium and folate which can help in producing blood cells, preventing anemia, and strengthening bones.

copper rich foods
Add the goodness of green veggies to your diet. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Dry fruits

Dry fruits are tiny, but are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. They help in several body functions because they’re high in fibre, protein, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals. Nuts such as cashew and almonds contain large amounts of copper and are a great vegetarian source of copper.

4. Seeds

Seeds such as sesame seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds are edible and have higher amounts of copper in them. Vegetarians can munch on nuts and seeds to take their daily dose of copper.

5. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate’s nutritional value, darker is always better. Yes, consuming dark chocolate is very nutritious as it is a powerful source of antioxidants, improves blood flow and helps in reducing blood pressure.

So include copper in your daily diet to stay healthy!

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