10 Foods High In Zinc
You can find zinc in a wide variety of foods. Zinc occurs naturally in animal-sourced foods such as shellfish, meat, and dairy. Some plant-based foods contain zinc, too. The mineral is also added to some processed foods and is available in supplement form. These are the top 10 foods high in zinc.
Oysters and Shellfish
Look to the sea when seeking out zinc-rich foods: Oysters top the list, with more zinc per serving than any other food. Just two cooked oysters, contain about 18 mg of zinc – well exceeding your recommended daily allowance (RDA). Bonus: Oysters also contain lots of B12 and selenium.
Crab and lobster also provide a robust serving of zinc. Three ounces of cooked Alaska king crab legs contain 6.5 mg of zinc, while three ounces of cooked lobster provides 3.4 mg. These zinc-rich seafood options also offer a source of protein.
Love a good steak? Good news: You're also getting a rich supply of zinc. A 3-ounce portion of Porterhouse provides 4 mg of zinc. A medium-size hamburger patty ~3 ounces offers 5.3 mg of zinc.
Plus, this type of red meat delivers a heavy dose of iron, creatine and B vitamins. Just balance out your red meat intake with plenty of whole grains and vegetables.
Lamb and Pork
The "other red meat" comes in third. An 85-gram serving of lamb delivers more than 4 mg of zinc, while a serving of pork tenderloin delivers 2.5 mg.
Pork and lamb also offer a robust source of protein and iron. Keep it heart-healthy by choosing lean cuts of non-processed meat.
How about some zinc with that hummus? Chickpeas deliver a powerful zinc punch; one cup offers more than 2 mg. Also known as garbanzo beans, these tasty legumes are full of fiber and protein. Mash them into hummus or throw a handful into your salad for an extra boost of zinc goodness.
White, Black and Kidney Beans
A one-cup serving of white beans offers 1.6 mg of zinc, while the same amount of black beans provides 1.9 mg. Kidney beans provide 1.8 mg per one-cup serving.
Beans are a great way to add plant-based protein and fiber to your diet without a lot of calories. They also support bone health, delivering calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus in each bite.
Just three tablespoons of hemp seeds provide almost 3 mg of zinc. Hemp seeds also pack a nutritional punch, offering arginine (an amino acid that supports heart health) and healthy fats.
Other zinc rich seeds (without their shell) include pumpkin (2.7 mg of zinc per ¼ cup serving) and sunflower (2.7 mg per ¼ cup), both of which offer a satisfying, crunchy addition to your salad or grain bowl. A one ounce serving of the tiny chia seed offers 1.3 mg of zinc, as well as fiber, iron and phosphorus. Pro tip: Chia seeds expand in fluid, pop a serving in your smoothie to feel fuller longer.
Zinc-rich nut choices include pine nuts (1.2 mg of zinc per ounce) and cashews (1.6 mg of zinc per ounce). Pecans, Brazil nuts and almonds deliver about 1 mg of zinc per ounce. Nuts also offer healthy fats, lots of fiber, and other essential vitamins and minerals. A handful makes a great snack and provides a boost of energy.
Everyone's go-to dinner staple also delivers a punch of zinc. One three-ounce chicken breast offers 0.8 mg of zinc, while dark meat provides 2.4 mg. Plus, chicken is a lower-fat alternative to red meat. This versatile protein makes it easy to add zinc to your plate.
The dairy aisle delivers a healthy dose of zinc. One cup of low-fat fruit yogurt offers more than 1.7 mg, while an ounce of cheddar cheese contains 0.9 mg. Dairy also serves as a robust source of calcium protein, and when fortified, Vitamin D.
Whole grains contain zinc, too. A slice of whole wheat bread provides .64 mg of zinc, while a cup of oatmeal made with water delivers 1.1 mg. Quinoa, wheat, rice and oats and other whole grains also deliver important nutrients like B vitamins, fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium.
Bonus: Zinc Supplements
If you're not getting the zinc you need from your diet, zinc supplements are available to boost your intake. Adding a zinc supplement to your daily routine can help you live well.
All specific food nutrient data from:?https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/