Zinc is a mineral that helps us in ways that we often don’t think about, yet they are important for our health and survival. Therefore, you should eat foods high in zinc as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Why do I need more zinc in my diet?
Zinc is considered a trace mineral, meaning you do not need very much in your diet. However, it’s important to have enough of this important nutrient in order to avoid serious health conditions.
Zinc is required for a variety of body functions. For instance, it improves our immune system to help us fight off infections, such as the common cold or pneumonia,
and it has been found beneficial in healing acne, skin ulcers, and other wounds. Therefore, we must maintain a healthy level of zinc in our systems to keep our bodies stronger in case of injury or illness.
By contributing to the regulation of signals among the nerves in our brains, zinc also helps us form and retain memories as well as process what we learn.
Additionally, zinc is important for brain development, which impacts our ability to understand and process emotions.
It has even been used to help treat conditions such as schizophrenia, ADHD, and Wilson’s disease, which is a disorder caused by the accumulation of too much copper in the brain and other vital organs.
Other health benefits of zinc include the improvement of fertility and sexual function, the prevention of age-related vision deterioration and other chronic,
inflammatory diseases, and the treatment of osteoporosis, which is a serious health condition that impacts our bones and overall body structure.
How I get more zinc in my diet?
It is recommended that adult men consume at least 11 milligrams per day, while adult women should consume at least 8 milligrams per day.
The healthiest way to get more zinc in your diet is by planning your meals and snacks.
By planning your meals to include the right amount of zinc-rich foods throughout your day, we can get the maximum benefit from zinc in our diets on an ongoing basis.
However, this requires understanding which foods to eat to get on the right path. Luckily, the best sources of zinc include delicious foods, so you are sure to enjoy your journey toward a healthier diet.
Foods high in zinc
Meat is perhaps the best source of zinc. For instance, poultry is a good source of zinc, and you can even eat eggs to contribute to your daily recommended intake, although they contain considerably less zinc than other meats.
Lean red meats like beef and lamb are known for their high zinc content, but some researchers indicate that eating excessive red meat can also be problematic. Be sure to vary your diet significantly to avoid any issues.
Shellfish such as shrimp, lobster, and crab legs are also an important source of zinc. In fact, oysters have the most zinc of any foods, weighing in at up to 600% of the daily recommended zinc intake per serving.
Milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products are also important sources of zinc, although they contain much less zinc than meats.
However, many people have chosen not to eat meat at all and pursue a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle instead.
The good news is that you can still get enough zinc in your diet if you eat plenty of the right fruits and vegetables.
However, you should make adjustments to include at least 50% more zinc than meat-eaters since some vegetables may decrease the absorption of zinc in your system.
What vegetables are high in zinc?
Perhaps the greatest benefit of eating vegetables to get your zinc for the day is their low-calorie content. You can fill up on vegetables and get important nutrients to give you energy and a host of other health benefits without feeling like you’ve overeaten.
Legumes are the vegetables that may contain the most zinc. They include chickpeas, black-eyed peas, black beans, garbanzo beans, pumpkins seeds, cashews, pecans, almonds, and Brazil nuts.
One cup of legumes will give you approximately 20% – 25% of your daily recommended intake.
Grains, such as wheat, rice, and oatmeal also contain zinc. Wheat germ and wheat bran each contain about 7 milligrams of zinc, which almost satisfies the daily recommended intake.
Hominy, rye, spaghetti, and quinoa each contain 2 – 3 milligrams, so a few servings of these vegetables will meet your daily goal.
However, it’s important to note that legumes and grains both contain phytate, which is a compound that decreases the body’s absorption of zinc.
Therefore, if you choose to eat legumes and grains to get your zinc for the day, be sure to include them in your meals and snacks to make sure your zinc levels don’t drop too much as your day goes by.
Additionally, potatoes contain about 10% of the daily recommended intake, while green beans and kale provide less than half of this amount.
Mushrooms will give you about 5% – 20% of your daily recommended intake, depending on the type of mushrooms you choose. One cup of spinach, asparagus, broccoli, okra, or corn all contribute to your zinc needs, each between 5% – 10%.
This gives you a wide variety of vegetables that contribute to a zinc-rich diet.
Which fruit contains more zinc?
Avocados are considered a superfood, so it’s no surprise that they are at the top of the charts for fruits (that’s right – fruits, not vegetables) that are high in zinc.
A cup of California avocados has about 10% of the daily recommended zinc intake.
Blackberries, raspberries, pomegranates, and certain other berries each have at least 5% of your daily intake.
Apricots, guavas, and cantaloupe each have about 3%. Kiwi and peaches have about 2% each. Therefore, although these delicious fruits have less zinc, you will enjoy the foods that you need to keep you healthy.
Zinc packs a powerful punch in helping you get healthy and stay healthy in the long run. Plan your day to make sure you eat zinc-rich foods in your meals and snacks to keep you feeling better all day long.