by wowmagazine

Zinc is a mineral that plays a critical role in human health. Unfortunately our bodies don’t produce it naturally. Along with wound healing, protein synthesis and sensory maintenance, zinc has been shown to support proper immune functioning by activating T-lymphocytes which attack infected cells. 

Zinc’s role in immune functioning may explain why many lozenges and supplements contain the mineral. While those are great options to up your zinc intake, there are also plenty of zinc-rich foods to help meet your basic needs.

The recommended daily intake of zinc is 11 milligrams for men and eight milligrams for women. To make sure you’re meeting those requirements, dietitians suggest adding the below zinc-rich foods to your diet.

Just one 8-ounce container of yogurt provides 15% of your daily value. Yogurt is also a powerhouse in the probiotic world.


Oysters are the highest source of zinc from food. In fact, just three ounces of cooked or breaded and fried oysters provides 74 milligrams or 673% of your daily value (DV). If you don’t live near the sea, it is recommended to eat canned oysters for the same benefits. 

Crab and lobster 

Similar to other shellfish, crab and lobster are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B, and are high in zinc. Crab provides 59% of your daily volume and lobster provides 31%. Crab and lobster are also two of the best seafood choices in terms of low mercury levels.

Red meat 

Red meat includes both pork, mutton and buff. If you are a meat-eater, consider opting for lean meat, which tends to be lower in cholesterol and saturated fats. Not only will you get a good source of zinc, but you’ll also increase your protein intake. 


Chicken is a good source of both zinc and protein. Dark meat chicken specifically contains higher levels of zinc, with 22% of your DV. Chicken breast is still a good source. You can create a lot of different meals with a source of poultry, so it’s an easy way to add zinc to your diet. 

Baked Beans 

Beans are an inexpensive source of nutrients, including protein, fiber, magnesium, and, of course, zinc. Of all the legumes, baked beans are the highest in zinc with 2.9 milligrams per half-cup, or 26% DV. 

Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds are a good source of essential fatty acids in a plant-based diet. The tiny seeds are packed with essential nutrients like vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium and are high in zinc. 


Most known for its high calcium content, yogurt is also a good source of zinc. Just one 8-ounce container of yogurt provides 15% of your daily value. Yogurt is also a powerhouse in the probiotic world.


Cashews contain nutritional properties like selenium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus and are high in zinc. One ounce (about 18 cashews) provides 1.6 mg or 15% of your daily zinc needs. They’re also an excellent source of phyto-chemicals, plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and antioxidants.

Pumpkin seeds 

While other seeds, like hemp, chia and flax are also high in zinc, experts primarily recommend pumpkin seeds. Just one ounce provides 20% of your DV of zinc or 2.2 mg, but the nutrition benefits don’t stop there.

They’re also loaded with magnesium to enhance sleep quality and antioxidants to fight free radicals—further supporting immunity. 


Chickpeas may not be as high in zinc as baked beans, but they still provide 12% of your DV. The versatile beans are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, phosphorus, and iron. 

Whole grains 

Many whole grains like quinoa, oats, and rice contain zinc and other vitamins and minerals like vitamin B, fiber, magnesium, and iron. One packet of plain oatmeal, for example, contains 10% of your DV. While still a good source, whole grains contain phytic acid, which may reduce the absorption of zinc. Soaking grains and beans overnight will help reduce phytic acid and enhance mineral absorption. Combining these with other sources of zinc is a good way to make sure you are getting the right amount.

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