Best Sources of Zinc: 5 food items that are packed with this mineral

We all know macro-nutrients such as protein, carbs, fats and fibre are vital nutrients of the body, however, we cannot ignore the importance of other vitamins and minerals. Today, we are talking about a very important mineral called zinc.
Best Sources of Zinc: 5 food items that are packed with this mineralBest Sources of Zinc: 5 food items that are packed with this mineral
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We all know macro-nutrients such as protein, carbs, fats and fibre are vital nutrients of the body, however, we cannot ignore the importance of other vitamins and minerals. Today, we are talking about a very important mineral called zinc as the same is essential for the overall good health of our body. Did you know zinc is required to do over functions of over 300 enzymes and is involved in several other processed in the body. It also helps to metabolize nutrients, maintain our immune system and just like proteins, it also aids in the growth and repairing of body tissues. This is not, the mineral also helps to keep eye conditions such as macular degeneration and others at bay and also aids in the healing of wounds faster.

Our body cannot store zinc, so one should ideally eat enough zinc-rich food items to meet their daily needs. As per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the recommended daily intake of zinc is 11 mg for males, 9 mg for females, 11 mg for pregnant ladies and 12 mg for those who are lactating. So, include these below-mentioned zinc-rich food items and avoid the risk of zinc deficiency. 

ALSO READ: Best Sources of Magnesium: 5 healthy foods that are high in this nutrient

1. Oysters

Oysters are one of the foods which have a high content of zinc. For the unversed, 3 ounces of oyster has 75 mg of zinc. Meat, beef patty, lobster, pork chop loin and dark meat chicken are also some of the best sources of zinc.

2. Legumes

Beans and lentils also have a substantial amount of this mineral. Heating, sprouting, soaking or fermenting of legumes can increase its bioavailability. However, the absorption rate is poor in comparison to meat-based zinc sources. Aside from zinc, they are also great sources of protein, carbs and fiber.

3. Dairy

Milk, yogurt and cheddar cheese are packed with zinc. Apart from this nutrient, dairy products also help us to get other vital nutrients such as protein, calcium and vitamin D among others.

4. Eggs

Eggs too contain good amount of zinc. It also has other nutrients such as Vitamin B, protein, choline and selenium among others

5. Dark chocolate

Yes, this may come as a surprise but dark chocolate indeed have a lot of nutrients including zinc. For the unversed, a 100-gram bar of 70–85% dark chocolate contains around 3.3 mg of zinc. One should not just depend on dark chocolate as the main source of zinc as they are also high in calories.

Other food items that are also loaded in zinc are almonds, potatoes, kale, green beans, seeds and shellfish among others. Vegans and vegetarians are mostly deficient in nutrients such as vitamin B-12, iron, calcium, iodine, vitamin D, and zinc among others. Some of the best vegan and veg sources of zinc are beans, nutritional yeast, nuts, oats and wheat germ among others. For the unversed, as per a study in the year 2017, a vegetarian or vegan may need to consume 50% more zinc than non-vegetarians.

How to know whether you are suffering from zinc deficiency or no. If you notice a loss of appetite, diarrhea
hair loss, impotence and poor growth then you may be having low levels of zinc. If you planning to take supplements of zinc then you have to stop the supplements of calcium, copper, folic acid, iron, and magnesium as these nutrients can affect the absorption of zinc.

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