Proper nutrition is an integral part of living a happy and healthy life. While your body needs all sorts of vitamins and nutrients, one mineral you’re going to want to ensure you get enough of is zinc.
From metabolizing nutrients and helping your body repair tissues to boosting your immune system, your body uses zinc to do many important things. However, unlike many other nutrients, your body doesn’t store zinc. Getting enough of it in your diet is, therefore, essential.
Health experts recommend that men get 11 mg of zinc per day. Women need 8 mg, while pregnant women need 11 mg. While a balanced diet can provide you with that, it’s worth knowing which foods are high in zinc.
Here are seven zinc-rich foods that you can enjoy.2
Meat is one of the best sources of zinc. While red meat has some of the highest concentrations, other meats like lamb and pork do as well.
100 grams of ground beef provides you with 4.8 mg, or 44%, of the zinc you need each day. In addition to zinc, it also comes packed with protein, vitamins, and iron—other things that every healthy body needs.
Seeds are another great source of zinc. While meat-lovers can enjoy them too, they’re especially great for vegetarians and vegans who avoid red meat and other animal-based products.
Hemp seeds, for example, provide you with between 31%-43% of the zinc you need each day. Pumpkin, squash, and sesame seeds are other zinc-rich sources you can turn to.
Like seeds, nuts also come packed with zinc. Cashews provide you with 15% of the Daily Value, while almonds, peanuts, and pine nuts give you plenty as well.
In addition to zinc, nuts also contain plenty of other healthy nutrients, such as fats and fibers. They also reduce your risk of developing certain diseases, ensuring that you live a long and healthy life (1).
One egg provides you with 5% of your daily zinc. It also gives you protein, healthy fats, and, contrary to popular belief, won’t lead to a cholesterol spike (2).
Consider hard boiling eggs, then storing them in the fridge for later. Doing so provides you with a quick, simple, and nutritious snack!
5. Whole grains
Vegetarians and vegans (as well as everyone else) can also turn to whole grains for zinc. Rice, quinoa, and oats all contain moderate amounts of it, although not as much as some of the other foods on the list.
That said, whole grains also contain large amounts of other nutrients, like magnesium and vitamin B.
While not all vegetables are rich in zinc, potatoes, green beans, and kale provide you with small amounts of it.
In conjunction with other foods like meats or nuts, vegetables can provide you with zinc and other necessary nutrients.
If you’re a fan of seafood, you’re in luck: many shellfish come packed with zinc. Oysters, for example, give you 291% of your Daily Value. Alaskan crabs give you 69%, while shrimp provide you with 14%.
Remember to cook shellfish all the way through, especially if you’re pregnant!
Don’t skimp on zinc
Provided you have a balanced diet, you shouldn’t have any problem getting the zinc your body needs. If you’re ever in doubt, try getting more of the foods included on this list!