Zinc is an important mineral needed by the body to: keep a healthy immune system, maintain a proper sense of smell, trigger enzymes, and build protein levels as well as creating deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Zinc benefits are also vital in helping the body’s cells communicate by functioning as a neurotransmitter.
Zinc rich foods are not difficult to find, and can easily be added to your diet for maximum benefit!
As I have written about previously, zinc supplementation is excellent before sleep, and can have incredible impacts on your body’s ability to recover from physical activity.
Aside from the natural sources I will list below, zinc is one mineral which can be adequately taken in supplement form.
NOW Foods is a cheap option for high quality zinc, which you can purchase online and add in to your daily routine!
Benefits of Eating Zinc Rich Foods
A deficiency of zinc can lead to stunted growth, impotence, hair loss, diarrhea, eye and skin lesions, reduced immunity, and impaired an appetite.
On the other hand, too much zinc intake can lead to vomiting, abdominal cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and headaches in the short term; and can distort absorption of copper and iron, as well as create large amounts of toxic free radicals in the long term.
If you have deficiency in zinc, then animal food sources of zinc are better than plant food sources.
Recommended foods high in zinc among others are:
Zinc Rich Fruits
Although only required in small amounts, zinc is essential in the proper performance of the human body, plays a vital role in enzyme actions, and regulates many genetic activities. Zinc is also required for the proper growth and sexual maturity of individuals.
Zinc helps strengthen the immune system, prevents depression, and balances blood sugar.
Red meat and sea foods are very good sources of zinc, but you don’t have to be carnivorous to get the right amount you need. There are zinc rich fruits that provide just the right balance of a necessary amount of zinc for your body!
Hence, a balanced diet complete with fruits will provide the right amount of zinc needed by the body to perform all necessary functions optimally.
The following are fruits high in zinc:
- Dried Apricots
- Dried Peaches
- Dried Grapes
- Dried Bananas
- Dried Figs
Zinc Rich Foods for Vegetarians
While it’s true that meat (red), poultry, and sea foods are undoubtedly among the better sources of zinc, vegetarians can take solace in the fact that they can meet the daily recommended dietary allowance of zinc per day by eating a variety of plant food sources.
However, the zinc from plant food sources isn’t well absorbed like that from animal foods; hence vegetarians may need to consume up to 50 percent more zinc to meet up their daily needs in accordance to the set standard of the Office of Dietary Supplements.
Vegetarians should especially consider purchasing a zinc supplement, but they can also work to maximize natural sources of zinc for themselves as well! It certainly is not impossible for a vegetarian to get their recommended daily amount of zinc from natural sources, but taking a supplement as well will ensure that you only need to eat a few of the zinc rich foods for vegetarians to maintain their overall health!
Among the variety of plant-based food sources rich in zinc that can be taken by vegetarians are:
Dairy products are also high in zinc, but I never recommend people to take any type of dairy product. I strongly prefer goat milk and goat products, since they are much more easily digestible for our bodies. Goat products also contain valuable amounts of zinc, and are more easily absorbed!
How Can I Get More Zinc in My Diet?
Different people have different zinc needs; as children need between 3-11mg daily, women need between 8-10mg, while men need between 11-13mg – according to dietary guidelines.
Since the body does not store zinc, you should eat foods with a high amount of this mineral on a daily basis. Eating six oysters alone will give you 7.7mg of zinc, or an alarming 51.3 percent of your daily needs (per the National Institutes of Health)!
Another option that will provide you with 2.5mg, or 17 percent of daily body needs, is to eat a three-ounce piece of pork tenderloin. If you are a vegetarian, you can eat for 1.7mg or 11 percent of the recommended amount, a half cup of canned baked beans.
Enjoy a cooked or raw oyster for the most zinc, overall!
One of the many amazing benefits of zinc rich foods is that they create a protective bubble around your body, protecting you from disease and illness. Eating a diet high in zinc rich foods will maximize your body’s immune system, allowing you to fight off anything that could potentially harm your body!
If you are a vegetarian, I recommend you purchase a supplement to aid you in getting the maximum amount of zinc necessary per day.
Regardless, eating these zinc rich foods will absolutely help you build a healthy and physically fit body!
See Also: Zinc for Sleep