Top 10 foods high in zinc
Zinc is an essential trace element that is involved in metabolism, affects immunity, and reveals antioxidant properties. Zinc deficiency leads to problems with the mucous membranes, skin, nails, hair, teeth and gastrointestinal tract. Zinc is best absorbed in combination with vitamins E and B6. Caffeine and tannin in coffee and tea reduce the absorption of zinc.
RIGHT DIET: where to start
What zinc is needed for in the body:
- for metabolic processes in bone, connective and muscle tissue
- for healthy hair, skin, nails
- to regulate blood sugar
- for visual acuity, taste and smell
- to normalize reproductive function
- to stabilize the nervous system
- to support acid-base balance
- to accelerate cell regeneration
- to protect against free radicals
In order to eliminate the deficiency of a trace element in the body, it is necessary to consume at least 12-15 mg of zinc daily with food or vitamin supplements. An increased intake of the trace element is indicated for pregnant women, lactating women, vegetarians and athletes, in whom zinc is rapidly consumed for metabolic needs.
Top 10 Zinc Rich Foods
Here are the top 10 foods of plant and animal origin with a high content of zinc, which must be present in your daily diet. The largest amount of zinc is found in seeds and nuts, and the least in dairy products and vegetables.
1. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin is a seasonal product with a specific taste that not everyone likes, despite its vitamin composition and health benefits. But pumpkin seeds can be eaten all year round, and they are not only nutritious, but also healthy. Pumpkin seeds are turned into superfood by healthy oil, which is almost 50% in the composition of seeds. The remaining 50% is distributed between proteins and dietary fiber. Pumpkin seeds improve the condition of the skin and hair and are recommended for serious skin diseases. In addition, the seeds have antiparasitic and detoxifying properties.
100 g of unroasted pumpkin seeds contain 7.4 mg of zinc, which corresponds to 60% of the daily value. Pumpkin seeds contain a lot of oil, which makes them high in calories. For this reason, pumpkin seeds should not be consumed in quantities of more than 30 g per day. It is preferable to combine seeds with other zinc-rich foods to ensure a healthy intake of the micronutrient.
Pumpkin seeds are among the foods rich in zinc. They also contain vitamins B, E, K, C, as well as sodium, potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.
2. Pine nut
One of the healthiest but expensive nuts. This is due to the difficulty of obtaining them, which involves exclusively manual labor. Pine nuts are obtained from the cones of the Siberian cedar pine, which is considered a national treasure of Siberia. Nuts contain healthy oil, as well as proteins that are easy to digest, and fiber. Pine nuts contain a lot of oleic acid, tryptophan, as well as a large amount of vitamins and trace elements.
Essential fatty acids contained in pine nut oil are essential for normal functioning of the body, and oleic acid prevents atherosclerosis. Thanks to the amino acid tryptophan, nuts help relieve insomnia. Pine nuts help to solve problems with skin, hair, strengthen the cardiovascular system, and have a beneficial effect on the nervous system and gastrointestinal tract.
Pine nuts contain useful vitamins B6, B12, E, PP, as well as trace elements: manganese, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, which improve immunity, are involved in metabolism and have antioxidant properties. Pine nuts contain almost the maximum percentage of zinc – 6.45 mg per 100 g of product, which provides 54% of the daily value. Pine nuts are high-calorie foods, and therefore you need to be careful when introducing them into your daily diet.
There is not much zinc in dairy products, but this is not the case with most types of hard cheeses. In Dutch, Swiss, Cheddar, Gouda, noble Roquefort and ordinary Russian cheese, zinc is contained in an amount of 3.5 to 5 mg per 100 g. This covers 30 to 40% of the daily value of the mineral. The largest amount of zinc is found in the Dutch, Swiss and Cheddar, the smallest in the Russian and Roquefort.
Cheese is good for the body as it is quickly absorbed and has a unique vitamin and mineral composition. Cheese protein is considered one of the easiest for human assimilation – its amino acid composition is as close as possible to that of a human. Cheese contains vitamins B1, B2, B12, A, D, C, PP, E and minerals phosphorus, potassium, calcium, zinc, among which most of all calcium is useful for teeth and bones. Cheese improves sleep, replenishes calcium deficiency, improves immunity and the condition of the skin, hair, nails, increases efficiency and relieves depression.
The disadvantage of hard cheese is its calorie content and a large amount of animal fats in the composition. But in moderation, cheese can be used in your daily diet.
4. Buckwheat porridge
It is no coincidence that buckwheat is regularly included in the top nutritional products for athletes. Buckwheat has many useful properties due to its unique vitamin and mineral composition. It contains the largest amount of trace elements in comparison with other cereals, including zinc, which in buckwheat contains 2.77 mg per 100 g, which provides 23% of the daily value.
Buckwheat carbohydrates are absorbed slowly, and proteins – quickly, which makes cereals ideal for dinner or lunch. Buckwheat has a lot of iron, making it useful for those with low hemoglobin. Buckwheat also improves the condition of blood vessels, removes excess water from the body, and has a beneficial effect on the nervous system.
Its beneficial properties are due to vitamins of group B, PP, P, E, C, minerals calcium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, boron, cobalt, iodine, iron and zinc. It even contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for humans.
Buckwheat has practically no drawbacks, because low calorie content allows you to use it every day, and slow carbohydrates leave you feeling full for a long time.
Despite the fact that almonds are often referred to as nuts, they are a seed in origin. Almonds are the core of an exotic plant similar to a plum. The most memorable and valuable thing in almonds is its bitter taste and aroma, which is due to a highly concentrated chemical composition with a large amount of useful substances.
100 g of almonds contain a double norm of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that affects cell regeneration. Almonds cleanse the blood, help remove toxins, and have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the kidneys and liver. It acts as a mild analgesic and relieves muscle cramps as it contains a lot of magnesium. In addition, almonds improve sleep, increases efficiency and concentration, and tAlso useful for those with respiratory problems.
Almonds contain almost all vitamins of group B3, B6, B2, B1, A, C, E and many useful minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, iodine, iron, selenium, copper, sulfur, fluorine, manganese and zinc … Zinc in almonds is 2.12 g per 100 g, which corresponds to 18% of the daily requirement. Almonds, like all seeds, are high in calories due to the fat in their composition, so it is recommended to eat them in moderation in the daily diet.
Hercules flakes and oatmeal are equally good for saturating the body with zinc and other minerals. Oatmeal has a positive effect on the condition of the skin and hair and increases the body’s immune defenses. Slow carbohydrates predominate in cereals, which saturate and normalize blood sugar for a long time. Oatmeal improves skin condition due to the large amount of zinc – 2.68 mg per 100 g, which is 22% of the daily value.
Oatmeal and cereals contain many essential amino acids, among which tryptophan and threonine are the leaders, which are necessary for human metabolism. Oatmeal also contains dietary fiber, which is needed for the normal functioning of the digestive tract, easily digestible proteins and antioxidants. Oatmeal is also rich in B vitamins and minerals: silicon, manganese, copper, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and zinc. Oatmeal can be eaten every day, as it has a low calorie content and is great for breakfast.
7. Chicken eggs
Among animal products with a high zinc content, eggs should be noted, or rather, the yolk of a chicken egg. Given the low calorie content of protein, it is not necessary to separate it from the yolk. The whole chicken egg contains protein that is easily digested due to its alpha amino acid composition and many vitamins, minerals, including omega-3 fatty acid. Eggs are useful for maintaining muscle mass, strengthening bones, maintaining brain performance, and reducing blood pressure. This is a great option for both breakfast and dinner.
The yolk of a chicken egg contains 3.1 mg per 100 g of zinc, which corresponds to 26% of the daily value. Also, the whole egg contains vitamins and minerals such as A (almost daily rate), D, B4, B5, H, E, PP, calcium, phosphorus, iron, iodine, copper, sulfur, chromium and others in small quantities. Due to its moderate calorie content, the product can be eaten daily, without exceeding the norm of 1-2 eggs per day.
Bean protein is equated to meat, making it ideal for vegetarian athletes. Beans get rid of excess water in the body, have a positive effect on the state of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys, circulatory and nervous systems. Due to its amino acid composition, it is useful for sleep problems, anxiety disorders, depression. Known anticarcinogenic properties of beans, as well as its ability to positively affect the genitourinary system.
The beans contain a lot of fiber, vitamins of group B, C, zinc, iron, chlorine, sulfur, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium. Given the low calorie content of all types of beans, it can be used in the daily diet, especially for vegetarians. For non-vegetarians, 500 grams of beans per week are enough in the form of soups, salads or stews. Red beans are considered the most valuable in terms of trace elements.
Beans are useful not only for their zinc content, which contains 3.21 mg per 100 g, which provides 27% of the daily value, but also vitamins, minerals and other useful substances in the composition.
Among animal products rich in zinc, beef leads the non-vegetarian category. In addition to vitamins and minerals, the most valuable in beef is protein, the amino acid composition of which is closest to natural for humans. Protein from beef is completely absorbed and is used to build muscles, bones and connective tissue, which is important for athletes and people involved in physical labor.
Beef contains a lot of iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, zinc, which are necessary for the functioning of all body systems, including the nervous and gastrointestinal tract. Vitamin B12 is unique, found only in animal products and is often deficient in vegetarians. Also in beef there is B6, PP and other vitamins necessary for human health.
There are 3.24 mg of zinc per 100 g of meat, which provides 27% of the daily value. The low energy value of lean beef allows it to be included in the diet.
Shrimp strengthens muscles and bones thanks to the composition of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. They are good for the heart and blood vessels, as they include the antioxidant astaxanthin, iron, vitamins A and B12. Shrimp are beneficial for vision, genitourinary health, thyroid, skin, immunity, brain and nervous system. They contain a large amount of vitamins of group B, E, A, selenium, iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc and sodium. Shrimp are low in calories, making them acceptable for the diet.
Unlike other seafood, shrimp contains enough zinc to be included in your weekly diet. 100 g of shrimp contains 2.1 mg of zinc, which covers the norm by 18%. Shrimp are also beneficial in omega fatty acids, iodine and antioxidants.