Zinc is a very important or essential mineral for good health. The body does not store zinc, so you need to eat foods high in zinc every day to ensure you’re meeting your daily zinc requirements. The body needs a particular amount of zinc daily.
Below is the zinc requirement that the body needs on a daily basis to function properly:
- Men 19 years and older = 11 milligrams (mg)
- Women 19years and older = 8 milligrams (mg).
- A pregnant woman = 11 milligrams (mg)
- Breastfeeding mother = 12 milligrams (mg)
Importance Of Zinc To The Body
- Zinc helps in maintaining your immune system and it also plays a very important role in many other aspects of your health.
- Zinc metabolizes nutrients.
- Grows and repairs body tissues. Zinc promotes healthy skin and mucous membranes, which boosts wound healing.
- Mineral zinc is required for the functions of over 300 enzymes and is involved in many important processes in the body system. It plays a role in triggering chemical reactions in the body by helping the body use folic acid and creating new proteins and DNA.
- As humans, we need zinc for physical growth and development. Zinc deficiency can result in impaired growth in children and adolescents.
- Zinc mineral help to maintain a healthy eye. Zinc deficiency can contribute to the development of eye conditions, including macular degeneration.
- Mineral zinc works as a powerful antioxidant and helps fight oxidative stress and decrease your chances of developing a number of serious diseases. In fact, zinc supplementation significantly lowered infection rates in older people ages 55 to 87 years.
There are some people that are at risk of having zinc deficiency, they are:
- Older adults
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding mothers
Foods High In Zinc
Just as previously said, the body does not store zinc, so you need to eat foods high in zinc every day to ensure you’re meeting your daily zinc requirements, those food are:
1. Crab/ Lobster:
According to the USDA, 3 ounces of cooked Alaskan king crab gives 6.5 mg of zinc, while a small steamed or boiled lobster gives 4.7 mg which makes them a great source of zinc. Eating crab legs, crab rolls or crab cake will give you a good dose of zinc Seafood is also a great addition to any heart-healthy diet, though shellfish doesn’t provide as many heart benefits as salmon and sardines do, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Meat, especially red meat is a good source of zinc. Other types of meat like beef, chicken, pork lamb, etc still have but little quantity of zinc in them.
A 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of raw ground beef contains 4.79 mg of zinc, which is 43.5% of the daily value of zinc for men and 59.9% of the daily value of zinc for women. Meat is not only a good source of zinc, but it is also a great source of creatine, iron and vitamin B. Meat also contains about 176 calories, 10 grams of fat and 20 grams of protein.
Meanwhile, eating a large quantity of red meat is linked with an increased risk of some cancer and heart diseases. It is best if you reduce the intake of processed meat and take more unprocessed red meat together with a diet that has vegetables, fruits and fiber.
3. Shellfish / Oyster:
Shellfish is one of the best foods high in zinc. Shellfish are the powerhouse of the mineral zinc, having 5.5 mg of zinc per raw oyster. Other types of shellfish are still a great source of zinc, but according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oysters are an excellent and best source of the mineral zinc, low in calories, with 7 calories per oyster, and is also loaded with other valuable vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12 and selenium. Shellfish like oysters, crab, shrimp, and mussels can all contribute to your daily mineral zinc intake.
Avoid eating your oyster raw because they may contain bacteria and contaminants, including heavy metals like mercury and cadmium.
Read Also: 7 Healthy Foods That Are High In Vitamin D
Eggs have a moderate amount of mineral zinc that can help meet your daily zinc target. One big egg contains about 5% of mineral zinc which makes it a good source of zinc. It also has about 77.5 calories, 6.3 grams of protein, and 5.3 grams of healthy fats, and is also packed with other vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins and selenium.
Whole eggs are also an important source of choline, a nutrient most people aren’t getting enough of.
Another great foods high in zinc are legumes. Legumes like beans, lentils, and chickpeas all contain substantial amounts of zinc.
Zinc found in legumes is not well absorbed as zinc found in animal products Despite this, legumes are still an important source of zinc for people following vegan or vegetarian diets. It also contains protein and fiber.
Dairy products are loaded with nutrients, including mineral zinc. Dairy products like milk and cheese are a great source of zinc. The body can absorb most of the zinc content present in milk and cheese.
Dairy products are also loaded with numerous nutrients which are important for bone health, like protein, calcium, and vitamin D.
Mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, kale, and garlic are packed with mineral zinc, and other important vitamins and minerals. A cup of sliced raw mushrooms contains 0.36 mg of zinc. Adding mushrooms, spinach, broccoli or kale to your food will give you an extra zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, copper,calcuim, manganese, and potassium with low calories. Mushrooms have as low as 20 calories in 3 oz, plus an excellent amount of the B vitamin riboflavin.
Other foods high in zinc are:
- Seeds ( hemp seeds, pumpkin, sesame, squash)
- Nuts and peanuts
- Whole grains
- Dark chocolate
- Breakfast cereals
- Avocado pear
- Cocoa powder
- Snails/ Periwinkle
- Oat meal
- Bitter leaf
Symptoms Of Zinc Deficiency Are:
- Affected taste and smell
- Trouble healing wounds
- Appetite loss
- Eye sore
- Hair loss
- Reduced alertness
- Impaired immune response
- Poor growth
Read Also: 15 Food That Is Rich In Protein
Zinc is a very important mineral, and eating enough is important for maintaining good health.There are lots of foods high in zinc. This mineral is present in many natural foods, and many manufacturers add zinc to foods such as cereals.
Meat-based products are higher source of zinc. For vegetarians who do not eat meat, they may need to increase their zinc intake by eating beans, seeds, and oats, and other foods containing zinc. Mineral zinc supplements can be found at most local pharmacies or drugstores.