Zinc is a trace mineral which plays a key role in many enzymatic reactions in the body. The immune system requires this essential mineral to function properly and zinc also helps you in using the sense organs of smell and taste.
Consuming zinc in small amounts daily is necessary to maintain your health that acts like an antioxidant by slowing down the ageing process and fighting free radical damage.
Zinc also prevents cancer and stimulates the production of blood in the body, thus promoting the wound healing process. The recommended daily allowance of zinc in women above 19 years is 8 milligrams and for men above 14 years is 11 milligrams.
Not consuming enough of foods rich in zinc can lead to a deficiency of this mineral. Pregnant and lactating women, children, adolescents and infants are more at a risk of zinc deficiency.
Consume foods rich in zinc to support optimal zinc levels. Here is a list of foods rich in zinc.
1. Lamb Meat
Lamb meat is an excellent source of zinc and several other vitamins and minerals too. It contains riboflavin, vitamin B12, selenium, niacin, iron and phosphorous. 3 ounces of lamb contains 6.7 milligrams of zinc. But, consume lamb meat in limited quantities.
Oysters are rich in zinc and protein which enhance muscle strength. They are also high in vitamin C which is great for immunity. 50 grams of oysters contain 8.3 milligrams of zinc. You can have oysters by broiling them with herbs.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc and phytoestrogens that stabilize the cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. 1 cup of pumpkin seeds contain 6.6 milligrams of zinc. You can add the seeds in your salad or in your smoothies.
Chickpeas are a complex carbohydrate that digests slowly in the body. These legumes increase your satiety and help with weight loss too. 1 cup of chickpeas contain 2.5 milligrams of zinc which is 17 percent of the daily recommended value.
5. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are very good sources of zinc and phytosterols that help in lowering cholesterol. The seeds are also high in protein and help in balancing hormones. 100 grams of sesame seeds contain 7.8 milligrams of zinc.
6. Cocoa Powder
Cocoa powder is a good source of zinc that enhances immunity and flavonoids which function as an antioxidant that aids in preventing disease and inflammation. 1 ounce of cocoa powder contains 1.9 milligrams of zinc. You can add cocoa powder in protein shakes or while baking desserts.
Cashew nuts are rich in zinc and unsaturated fatty acids which help in fighting heart disease and promote bone health and healthy brain function. 1 ounce of cashew nuts contain 1.6 milligrams of zinc.
Flaxseeds are rich in zinc and omega 3 fatty acids that help in boosting brain and heart health. Flaxseeds can also help in treating arthritis and inflammatory bowel syndrome. 168 grams of flaxseeds contain 7.3 milligrams of zinc.
Yogurt is a probiotic food rich in zinc, calcium and many other vital nutrients. It supports healthy digestion, promotes heart health and immunity and helps in regulating your mood. 1 cup of yogurt contains 1.4 milligrams of zinc.
Chicken is loaded with zinc and other B vitamins like vitamin B12, vitamin B6, niacin and pantothenic acid. These vitamins enhance metabolism and improve the health of the body's cells. 100 grams of chicken contain 1 milligram of zinc.
Spinach is one of the nutrient-dense foods which is high in zinc and antioxidants. Consuming spinach decreases the risk of heart diseases, obesity, cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.1 cup of spinach contains 1.4 milligrams of zinc.
Peanuts are full of zinc and heart-healthy nutrients like magnesium, copper, oleic acid and niacin. 146 grams of peanuts contain 4.8 milligrams of zinc.
Almonds have high amounts of vitamin E and zinc which relieve stress and slow down ageing. 95 grams of almonds contain 2.9 milligrams of zinc which is 20 percent of the daily recommended value.
Mushrooms contain high amounts of zinc which helps in boosting the immunity, reduces inflammation, protects heart, prevents cancer and improves brain function. 1 cup of mushrooms contain 1.4 milligrams of zinc.
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