Zinc is a trace mineral critical for good health. In fact, it’s required for many different physiological processes within your body. It helps keep your immune system healthy, metabolizes nutrients, and is essential for the growth and repair of tissues.
Since your body can’t store zinc, it’s important to make sure you’re eating enough to get the amount your body needs daily.
What’s more, some people have a higher risk of zinc deficiency than others. Including women who are breastfeeding or pregnant, the elderly, teenagers, and young children. The recommended intake of zinc for men is 11 mg per day, and it’s 8 mg per day for women.
There’s excellent news: a balanced, healthy diet that includes foods rich in this mineral can help you meet those needs. Which foods should you be eating to meet your daily zinc intake?
7 foods naturally packed with zinc…
Red meat, pork, lamb, and poultry are all excellent sources of zinc. Red meat is one of the best since a serving of ground beef has 4.8 mg of zinc. When choosing meat, stick with lean options and remove the visible fat to keep it the meal as healthy as possible.
In addition to being good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, seed help to boost your zinc intake. Pumpkin, squash, sesame, and hemp seeds are some of the best options. Try adding more seeds to your diet by using them to top yogurt, soups, and salads.
If you’re looking for a low-calorie, diet-friendly source of zinc, shellfish is a great choice. Oysters are one of the best options, with six oysters containing about 32 mg of zinc (that’s close to 300% of your daily value). Alaskan crab, shrimp, and mussels are other good sources of zinc, too.
4. Dairy Products
You already know that dairy products offer many nutrients; zinc is one of them! Cheese and milk contain large amounts of zinc that are easily absorbed by the body. Dairy also contains other essential nutrients for bone health, such as vitamin D and calcium.
5. Dark Chocolate
Here’s a surprise – dark chocolate is a great way to enjoy a treat while getting a bit more zinc in your diet! Eat 3.5 ounces of 70-85% dark chocolate, and you’ll get 3.3 mg of zinc. That’s around a third of the recommended daily value. Since chocolate is high in calories, you shouldn’t rely on it as a primary source of this mineral.
Cashews, almonds, peanuts, and pine nuts are all loaded with zinc. They also contain other essential nutrients like fiber, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. Cashews are one of the best choices, with a one-ounce serving offering 1.6 mg of zinc. Enjoy a glass of milk or toss a serving of shredded cheese into your salad to get more zinc.
One egg contains about 1.4 mg of zinc, so if you eat a couple of eggs in a day, you’ll give your zinc intake a boost. Hard-boiled eggs are great in salads, you can scramble a couple for breakfast, or toss a poached egg on top of a veggie bowl for an extra boost of protein and zinc.
Adding these foods to your diet can help you make sure you’re getting enough zinc for good health. All of these options are delicious and easy to add to your diet.
If you’re having a tough time getting enough zinc through diet alone, check with your doctor to see if a dietary supplement that contains zinc is a good idea.