Zinc is a mineral that’s essential for good health. It metabolizes nutrients, maintains your immune system and grows and repairs body tissues. Your body doesn’t store zinc, so you need to eat enough every day to ensure you’re meeting your daily requirements (1).
Here are some of the best foods that are high in zinc.
Meat – Meat is an excellent source of zinc. Red meat is a particularly great source, but ample amounts can be found in all different kinds of meat, including beef, lamb and pork (2).
Shellfish – Shellfish are healthy, low-calorie sources of zinc. Shellfish like oysters, crab, mussels and shrimp can all contribute to your daily zinc needs.
Legumes – Legumes like chickpeas, lentils and beans all contain substantial amounts of zinc. They also contain phytates. These antinutrients inhibit the absorption of zinc and other minerals, meaning zinc from legumes isn’t as well absorbed as the zinc from animal products (3).
Seeds – Seeds are a healthy addition to your diet and can help increase your zinc intake. Some seeds like hemp, pumpkin, squash and sesame seeds contain significant amounts of zinc. They are also a good source of fiber, healthy fats and vitamins, making them a healthy addition to your diet.
Nuts – Eating nuts such as pine nuts, peanuts, cashews and almonds can boost your intake of zinc. Nuts also contain other healthy nutrients, including healthy fats and fiber, as well as a number of other vitamins and minerals.
Dairy – Dairy foods like cheese and milk provide a host of nutrients, including zinc. Milk and cheese are two notable sources, as they contain high amounts of bioavailable zinc, meaning most of the zinc in these foods can be absorbed by your body (4).
Whole Grains – Whole grains like wheat, quinoa, rice and oats contain some zinc. Grains contain phytates, which bind to zinc and reduce its absorption (5). Whole grains contain more phytates than refined versions and will likely provide less zinc, but they are considerably better for your health and a good source of many important nutrients like fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese and selenium.
Zinc is an essential mineral, and eating enough is important for maintaining good health.
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