Foods rich in zinc: There are plant-based foods such as wheat germ, sesame, nuts, and legumes exceeding all animal-based foods, except for the oyster. With a healthy diet based on plant-based foods, there is no risk of suffering a lack of zinc, significantly if one eats wheat germ and sesame.
Chemical composition: mineral considered a trace element because it is necessary only in minimal amounts, as are other minerals such as iron.
Zinc rich foods: Among animal-based foods, only the oyster is top on the list as a rich zinc source. Wheat germ, sesame, maple sugar, oil-bearing nuts, and legumes all zinc-rich foods for vegetarians are equal or exceed the amount of zinc in meat and cured cheeses.
Foods rich in zinc absorption rate: Although there are many zinc rich vegetables, some of their components inhibit its absorption and that of other minerals:
- Phytates in whole grains,
- Oxalates in some green leafy vegetables such as spinach,
- Vegetable fiber.
This interference with absorption of minerals is only of concern if one regularly consumes large amounts of bran, whole-grain cereals, or other fiber-rich foods. Despite this, it is entirely possible to obtain sufficient zinc with a healthy vegan diet.
Function: Most of the body’s zinc is found in the skin, the hair, the nails, and the prostate. It is involved in numerous chemical reactions within the body since it forms part of various enzymes. Its two most evident function are:
- Sustaining the skin, hair, and nails in good condition;
- Development and functioning of the reproductive organs.
Zinc deficiency symptoms: Retardation of physical growth, poor wound healing, lack of development of the gonads (testicles or ovaries).
Increased need: Excess fiber consumption, pregnancy, nursing.
Loss during the processing of foods: Very slight.
Foods Rich in Zinc: Foods Chart
|Alfalfa sprouts||0.920 mg|
|Blackstrap molasses||1.00 mg|
|Whole-grain rice||2.02 mg|
|Popcorn with oil||2.64 mg|
|Mung bean||2.68 mg|
|Salted peanut butter||2.78 mg|
|Pine nut||4.28 mg|
|Brazil nut||4.59 mg|
|Maple sugar||6.06 mg|
|Wheat germ||12.3 mg|
|Cottage cheese, 1% fat||0.380 mg|
|Whole cow’s milk||0.380 mg|
|Natural yogurt||0.890 mg|
|Fresh egg||1.10 mg|
|Skinless chicken||1.54 mg|
|Lean pork||2.08 mg|
|Cheddar cheese||3.11 mg|
|Gruyere cheese||3.90 mg|
|Lean lamb||4.06 mg|
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 1. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 403. Print. [Foods rich in zinc]