zinc in a oysters

Foods high in zinc

If you would like to find out all about foods with zinc in them, and the role this mineral plays in your diet, you have undoubtedly come to the right page. Here we are going to provide you with a long list of foods high in zinc, highlighting what the best dietary sources of this important nutrient are.

In addition to this information we are also going to show you how much zinc you should be consuming through your diet each day, and what exactly the role is that zinc plays in the health of your body.

What is zinc and why do you need it?

Zinc is a trace mineral, and by that we mean that it is a mineral that your body requires, but in a lesser dose than those that are known as 'essential minerals'. Don't misinterpret this information though, zinc is still plays a vital role in your health, and this is why it is critical that you ensure your diet includes the food containing zinc that we are going to highlight on this page.

So why should you eat foods with zinc in them?

There are several benefits of zinc, that we all probably take for granted not knowing about. But if you were not to get enough of this mineral then the following would not happen.

  • Zinc helps to keep your immune system in strong shape.
  • Helps to break down carbohydrates that you turn into energy.
  • Is responsible for your growth.
  • Helps brain functionality.
  • Assists in the healing of wounds.
  • Critical for cellular metabolism
  • Plays a role in the release of hormones in your body.

There are some pretty important factors in this list, that would suffer if you were ever to lack in zinc and develop a deficiency. However, providing you take note of the information on this page and eat plenty of zinc rich foods, these will be problems you won't ever have to face.

zinc in cheerios

List of foods high in zinc

We are going to lead up by providing you with a preliminary list of foods high in zinc. This shows ten of the best sources of zinc that you will find, and also highlights just how easy it is to get the necessary amount of zinc that your body needs each day through your diet. If you can't find anything that you like, don't worry as we follow this up with a load more foods that contain zinc for you to go over.

One of the most important things to recognise from all of the foods in this list, is that they provide you with so much more than just a high content of zinc. Some of them are true nutritional goldmines, and are packed with several other vitamins and minerals too.

  1. Oysters

    - Shellfish are one of the best sources of zinc that you are going to find, and none more so than the oyster. You can get an absolutely humongous dose of zinc through just a simple serving of oysters, almost five times the total that you need in a single day. Oysters are also a great way to get iron and vitamin B12.

    100 g of cooked eastern wild oysters has 73.6 micrograms of zinc, this works out as 491% of your recommended daily intake of the mineral.
  2. Multi grain cheerios

    - Cereals are also a wonderful source of zinc, and multi grain cheerios lead the way here with a huge zinc content. You can get almost your entire daily requirement of zinc through one very basic serving of multi grain cheerios. Besides being rich in a whole range of B vitamins, they are also high in vitamin E too.

    1 oz of multi grain cheerios contains 14.5 mg, this is 97% of your daily need.
  3. Sesame seeds

    - Seeds are also another brilliant example of foods that contain zinc. With approximately 3 quarters of your daily need satisfied from one cup of sesame seeds, this firmly proves their case. Sesame seeds are also a wonderful source of magnesium and calcium.

    A 144g cup of sesame seeds holds 11.2 mg of zinc, this is an impressive 74% of your RDI.
  4. Pumpkin / Squash seeds

    - Another fine example of a zinc rich seed is both the sunflower and squash seed. They are both loaded with this vitamin, as well as being high in protein and phosphorus.

    A 138 g cup of dried pumpkin/squash seeds has 10.3 mg, this is 69% of the total zinc needed in one day.
  5. Pine nuts

    - Another food high in zinc is the nut, and pine nuts exemplify just why. A moderate portion of dried pine nuts can take care of over half of your daily need for zinc. Not only that but they can also give you a massive dose of manganese and vitamin K.

    100 g of dried pine nuts contain 8.7 mg, equating to 58% if your daily need.
  6. Lobster

    - Including lobster on your diet is going to do your zinc levels the whole world of good. You can get almost half of your required daily dosage of zinc from a basic serving of this popular sea food. Lobster is also a great source of selenium and vitamin B3.

    100 g of cooked lobster has 7.3 mg, a very helpful 48% of your RDI.
  7. Almonds

    - Getting zinc in foods is easily done if you are a fan of the almond nut. You can get well over a third of the total of this mineral needed in a day from just a simple serving of almonds. What's more, almonds sre loaded with vitamin E and iron.

    100 g of raw almonds provides 3.7 mg, this is 39% of your recommended daily intake.
  8. Cashew nuts

    - The cashew nut is yet another brilliant way to get the benefits of zinc from food. This contains just as much zinc as the almond does, and also helps your potassium and copper levels in a big way.

    100g of cashew nuts have 5.8 mg, 39% of your RDI.
  9. Pecans

    - Another food with zing in it that you should take notice of is the pecan. You can get just under a third of the necessary zinc in a day through just 100 g of pecans.

    100 g of raw pecans has 4.5 mg, 30% of your daily requirement.
  10. Flaxseed

    - Yet another seed that stands up high in the category of foods high in zinc. You can get a great dose of this vital mineral from a straight forward serving of flaxseed. Flax seeds also give you an immense dose of vitamin B1 and fiber.

    100 g of flaxseed has 4.3 mg, 29% of your RDI.

This zinc rich foods list by no means portrays the exact ten foods with the most zinc in. However, we can assure you that it's contents are without a doubt some of the best dietary sources of zinc that you can come across. If any of these feature in your diet already, then you already making a positive contribution to the total zinc that you need.

zinc in crab

More foods with zinc in them

Here are a load more of high zinc foods for you to look through. As you can see the dietary sources of zinc are rather plentiful, and therefore it is unusual for people to suffer from a zinc deficiency.

Below we have shown the name of the food, the serving size, the zinc content of the food, and finally the percentage of your RDI that this represents.

  • Crab - 100 g of cooked blue crab has 4.2 mg / 28%
  • Granola - 100 g of plain granola cereal has 4 mg / 27%
  • Brazil nuts - 120 g of dried Brazil nuts have 4.1 mg / 27%
  • Baked beans - A 253 g cup of baked beans has 3.5 mg / 24%
  • Chia seeds - 100g of chia seeds have 3.5 mg / 23%
  • Peanuts - 100 g of salted peanuts have 3.3 mg / 22%
  • Walnuts - 100g of English walnuts have 3.1 g / 21%
  • Dark chocolate - In a 112 g bar of 60-69% cacoa solids, dark chocolate, there is 3.0 mg / 20%
  • Mussels - 100 g of cooked blue mussels have 2.7 mg / 18%
  • Chickpeas - A 164 g cup of cooked chickpeas has 2.5 mg / 17%
  • Hazelnuts - 100 g of raw hazelnuts have 2.5g / 16%
  • Pistachio nuts - 100 g of pistachio nuts have 2.2 mg / 15%
  • Sunflower seeds - A 46 g cup of dried sunflower seed kernels has 2.3 mg / 15%
  • Black beans - A 172 g serving of black beans has 1.9 mg / 13%
  • Hummus - 100 g of hummus has 1.8 mg / 12%
  • Egg - A 136 g cup of chopped hard boiled egg has 1.4 mg / 10%

Can you think of another high zinc food that you think should be on this list? Why not tweet us.

The RDI that has been used in the above examples applies to an average adult male. This RDI may vary due to age, gender, and medical conditions. To get a clearer idea of how much zinc C you should be consuming per day, please see further down the page.

Evidently there is quite a selection of foods with zinc in them to choose from. This is not to mention the fact that other foods that your diet consists of will also provide you with traces of zinc, which combined together can make a positive contribution to your zinc levels.

Check out the menu on the left hand side of the page to find individual foods, and the calories and nutrients that they contain.

How much zinc is needed per day?

Now that you know what foods contain zinc, it is highly likely that you will be considering the total amount of zinc that you require in a day. This section will clear that up for you.

  • Infants 0-6 months - up to 2 mg per day
  • Children 6 months to 3 years - 3 mg day
  • Children 4 to 8 years - 5 mg each day
  • Children 9 to 13 years - 8 mg each day
  • Males 14 years and over - 13-15 mg per day
  • Females 14 and over - 11 mg each day, or 13-14 mg if lactating

As you can see the amount of zinc needed per day is minimal in comparison to other nutrients. Although you can help levels by taking a regular zinc supplement, the best way to get a sufficient amount of this mineral is via dietary sources. As we have already mentioned on this page, the foods with zinc in them also contain a wealth of other nutrients, a supplement will not.

More information

We really hope that you were able to find all of the information that you were looking for when it comes to the best sources of zinc, through out list of foods high in zinc.

Zinc is not the only nutrient that we have covered on this site. We have a comprehensive vitamins and minerals index that directs you to pages with the best food sources on for all of the nutrients that your diet should consist of.

There is also much more to the site than just nutritional information. You can find simple statistics on the calories found in everyday foods and beverages via the menus found on the left hand side of the page.

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