Zinc rich foods: 42 Zinc foods for better health

If you’ve heard about all the health benefits of zinc rich foods, you may be interested to learn what are a lot of zinc foods to get this important mineral. You may even find that you can get enough zinc through foods high in zinc to meet your daily needs.

Daily zinc requirement

The per-day requisite of zinc is 11 mg, for males in age between 19 to 50 years. The daily demand for zinc is 8 mg, for females in age between 19 to 50 years. The everyday demand of zinc is 12 mg, for pregnancy and lactation in age between 19 to 50 years.

Importance of zinc

Zinc is the significant trace element required by the body to maintain normal physiology. One of the major issues worldwide among the populations is zinc deficiency [PMID: 25096007]. Inadequate intake of foods high in zinc in your diet may get you zinc deficiency and has numerous manifestations such as immune dysfunction, delayed wound healing, and damage to multiple sensory systems including smell and taste [PMID: 28448263].

There are several zinc inadequacy symptoms in adults, including fatigue, muscle weakness, frequent infections, and loss of hair. In addition, there is some evidence that high zinc intake is associated with an increased risk of cancer [PMID: 25096007]

Zinc rich foods help your metabolism and immune system work. Zinc helps your digestive system as well, so a daily diet containing zinc foods can improve your overall health. Zinc is particularly important to your sense of smell and taste and is used by most people to help treat common colds. [https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/]

Zinc has been shown to be important in the prevention of atherosclerosis, heart disease, and certain cancers, it makes sense that it might also play a role in slowing the aging process [PMID: 31303527]. The absorption of zinc has been shown to increase in older adults when accompanied by antioxidants. This is because the body is more able to use the antioxidant capacity of zinc when it is already healthy. Zinc supplements are a good idea for everyone, but especially for older adults with reduced bioavailability of the mineral [PMID: 28272014].

The symptoms of zinc deficiency and diarrhea are similar. Some of these include bloating, constipation, heartburn, vomiting, diarrhea, low levels of energy, blurred vision, and dry mouth [PMID: 25096007]. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should speak to your doctor. While you can improve your symptoms with oral zinc supplements or eating zinc foods, it is important to catch any illness early before it can become serious.

But only zinc supplementation may interfere with some medications and cause unpleasant side effects. Long-term zinc supplementation may cause copper deficiency or anemia [PMID: 25096007]. It may be possible that the therapeutic requirement of zinc of 40 mg or more may not be achievable through zinc foods [PMID: 31303527]. Therefore, it’s important to talk to your doctor before you start using zinc as a dietary supplement. Nevertheless, you can always aim to get your daily requirement or little more than that of zinc with zinc rich foods.

The first of our sources of zinc in the diet, is, of course, eating green leafy vegetables. Zinc is found in all vegetables, so eating a wide variety of fresh vegetables is going to significantly increase your daily zinc intake. You will find that these zinc foods are all low in calories, so eating them in little more quantities may not affect your weight loss diet.

Another of our recommended zinc foods is seafood. There are many different species of seafood that contain zinc. All of these seafoods are naturally healthy, but eating them on a regular basis is going to provide your body with many of the other nutrients it needs to function properly.

There is zinc available in staples such as cereals, legumes, and millets. But these cereals are high in carbs. You may get 80 to 200 kcal to receive 1 mg of zinc from these cereals. In fact, rice gives 294 kcal before giving 1 mg of zinc. However, when you are on a weight loss diet you may not want to add more cereals to your veg diet plans.

If you have been looking at how zinc rich foods can help you look younger or ward off disease, you will see that there are a great many options out there other than cereals and legumes. There is a variety of different foods high in zinc, and the ones that work best are going to vary from person to person. This is why we have decided to compile a list of some of the best sources of zinc.

Zinc rich foods

42. Lentil whole, brown (Grain legumes)

Lentil whole, brown has 298.78 kilocalories of energy per 100 grams. Lentil whole, brown comprises 3.6 milligrams of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio in kCal/mg of Lentil whole, brown is 82.99. Therefore, Lentil whole, brown, grades at 42 in zinc rich foods. Although this legume gives the highest zinc per calories in its category, other legumes and cereals are way behind it. This example is taken just to explain to you that you have to take higher calories to get zinc from cereals and legumes.

41. Bitter gourd, jagged, teeth ridges, short (Other vegetables)

Bitter gourd, jagged, teeth ridges, short has 18.87 Kcal energy every 100 grams by weight. Short bitter gourd, jagged, teeth ridges, contains 0.36 mg of zinc. The Energy, kCal to zinc, mg ratio of Bitter gourd, jagged, teeth ridges, short is 52.41. Hence, Bitter gourd, jagged, teeth ridges, short positions at 41 in zinc foods.

40. Goat, kidneys (Animal meat)

Goat, kidneys has 89.32 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight. Goat, kidneys hold 1.73 milligrams of zinc. The Ratio of Energy to zinc of Goat, kidneys is 51.63 kcal to milligrams. Accordingly, Goat, kidneys rank 40 in foods high in zinc.

39. Clam, white shell ribbed (Marine mollusks)

Clam, white shell ribbed has 59.71 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Clam, white shell ribbed comprises 1.16 mg of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio of Clam, white shell ribbed is 51.47 kCal/milligrams. So, Clam, white shell ribbed, lines at 39 in zinc rich foods.

38. Seuid, white, small (Marine mollusks)

Seuid, white, small has 84.31 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Seuid, white, small contain 1.64 milligrams of zinc. The calorie to zinc ratio in kilocalories/milligrams of Seuid, white, small is 51.41. Thus, Seuid, white, small, grades at 38 in zinc foods.

37. Ponnaganni (Green leafy vegetables)

Ponnaganni has 50.87 Kcal energy every 100 grams. Ponnaganni holds 0.99 mg of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio in kCal/mg of Ponnaganni is 51.39. Therefore, Ponnaganni positions at 37 in foods high in zinc.

36. Plantain, flower (Other vegetables)

Plantain, flower has 21.26 Kcal energy every 100 grams by weight. Plantain, flower contain 0.42 mg of zinc. The Ratio of Energy to zinc of Plantain, flower is 50.61 kcal to milligrams. Accordingly, Plantain, flower, lines at 36 in zinc foods.

35. Basella leaves (Green leafy vegetables)

Basella leaves have 19.58 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight. Basella leaves hold 0.39 milligrams of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio of Basella leaves is 50.22 kCal/milligrams. So, Basella leaves, grades at 35 in foods high in zinc.

34. Mint leaves (Condiments and spices)

Mint leaves has 37.02 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Mint leaves comprise 0.75 mg of zinc. The calorie to zinc ratio in kilocalories/milligrams of Mint leaves is 49.36. Thus, Mint leaves positions at 34 in zinc rich foods.

33. Goat, spleen (Animal meat)

Goat, spleen has 95.77 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Goat, spleen contains 1.95 milligrams of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio in kCal/mg of Goat, spleen is 49.11. Therefore, Goat, spleen ranks 33 in zinc foods.

32. Pumpkin leaves, tender (Green leafy vegetables)

Pumpkin leaves, tender has 44.18 Kcal energy every 100 grams. Pumpkin leaves, tender holds 0.9 mg of zinc. The Energy, kCal to zinc, mg ratio of Pumpkin leaves, tender is 49.09. Hence, Pumpkin leaves, tender, lines at 32 in foods high in zinc.

31. French beans, country (Other vegetables)

French beans, country has 24.36 kilocalories of energy per 100 grams. French beans, country comprises 0.5 milligrams of zinc. The Ratio of Energy to zinc of French beans, country is 48.72 kcal to milligrams. Accordingly, French beans, country, grades at 31 in zinc rich foods.

30. Freshwater eel (Freshwater fish and shellfish)

Freshwater eel has 107.71 Kcal energy every 100 grams by weight. Freshwater eel contains 2.23 mg of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio of Freshwater eel is 48.30 kCal/milligrams. So, Freshwater eel, positions at 30 in zinc foods.

29. Broad beans (Other vegetables)

Broad beans has 29.38 kilocalories of energy for every 100 gm weight. Broad beans hold 0.61 milligrams of zinc. The calorie to zinc ratio in kilocalories/milligrams of Broad beans is 48.16. Thus, Broad beans rank 29 in foods high in zinc.

28. Field beans, tender, broad (Other vegetables)

Field beans, tender, broad has 30.81 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Field beans, tender, broad comprise 0.64 mg of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio in kCal/mg of Field beans, tender, broad is 48.14. Therefore, Field beans, tender, broad, lines at 28 in zinc rich foods.

27. Poultry, chicken, liver (Poultry)

Poultry chicken liver has 123.72 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Poultry chicken liver contains 2.65 milligrams of zinc. The Energy, kCal to zinc, mg ratio of Poultry chicken liver is 46.69. Hence, Poultry chicken liver, grades at 27 in zinc foods.

26. Lobster, king size (Marin shellfish)

 Lobster, king-size has 89.56 Kcal energy every 100 grams. Lobster, king-size holds 1.92 mg of zinc. The Ratio of Energy to zinc of Lobster, king-size is 46.65 kcal to milligrams. Accordingly, Lobster, king-size, positions at 26 in foods high in zinc.

25. Coriander leaves (Condiments and spices)

Coriander leaves has 31.05 kilocalories of energy per 100 grams. Coriander leaves comprise 0.68 milligrams of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio of Coriander leaves is 45.66 kCal/milligrams. So, Coriander leaves rank 25 in zinc rich foods.

24. Goat, legs (Animal meat)

Goat, legs has 159.78 Kcal energy every 100 grams by weight. Goat, legs contain 3.52 mg of zinc. The calorie to zinc ratio in kilocalories/milligrams of Goat, legs is 45.39. Thus, Goat, legs, lines at 24 in zinc foods.

23. Bitter gourd, jagged, smooth ridges, elongate (Other vegetables)

Bitter gourd, jagged, smooth ridges, elongate1 has 19.35 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight and holds 0.43 milligrams of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio in kCal/mg of Bitter gourd, jagged, smooth ridges, elongate1 is 44.99. Therefore, Bitter gourd, jagged, smooth ridges, elongate, grades at 23 in foods high in zinc.

22. Goat, shoulder (Animal meat)

Goat shoulder has 187.96 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight and 4.19 mg of zinc. The Energy, kCal to zinc, mg ratio of Goat shoulder is 44.86. Hence, Goat shoulder positions at 22 in zinc rich foods.

21. Duck, meat, with skin (Poultry)

Duck, meat, with skin has 130.64 kilocalories of energy and 2.92 milligrams of zinc per 100 gm weight. The Ratio of Energy to zinc of Duck, meat, with skin is 44.74 kcal to milligrams. Accordingly, Duck, meat, with skin ranks 21 in zinc foods.

20. Mustard leaves (Green leafy vegetables)

Mustard leaves have 30.33 Kcal energy every 100 grams and hold 0.68 mg of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio of Mustard leaves is 44.61 kCal/milligrams. So, Mustard leaves, lines at 20 in foods high in zinc.

19. Colocasia, stem, black (Other vegetables)

Colocasia, stem, black has 23.88 kilocalories of energy per 100 grams. Colocasia, stem, black comprises 0.54 milligrams of zinc. The calorie to zinc ratio in kilocalories/milligrams of Colocasia, stem, black is 44.23. Thus, Colocasia, stem, black, grades at 19 in zinc rich foods.

18. Bamboo shoot, tender (Other vegetables)

Bamboo shoot, tender has 16.24 Kcal energy every 100 grams by weight and 0.37 mg of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio in kCal/mg of Bamboo shoot, tender is 43.89. Therefore, Bamboo shoot, tender, positions at 18 in zinc foods.

17. Milkfish (Marin fish)

Milkfish has 105.56 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight. Milkfish holds 2.43 milligrams of zinc. The Energy, kCal to zinc, mg ratio of Milkfish is 43.44. Hence, Milkfish ranks 17 in foods high in zinc.

16. Lettuce (Green leafy vegetables)

Lettuce has 21.73 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Lettuce comprises 0.51 mg of zinc. The Ratio of Energy to zinc of Lettuce is 42.62 kcal to milligrams. Accordingly, Lettuce, lines at 16 in zinc rich foods.

15. Chicken mushroom, fresh ( Mushrooms)

Chicken mushroom, fresh has 21.26 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Chicken mushroom, fresh contains 0.55 milligrams of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio of Chicken mushroom, fresh is 38.65 kCal/milligrams. So, Chicken mushroom, fresh, grades at 15 in zinc foods.

14. Goat, liver (Animal meat)

Goat, liver has 125.63 Kcal energy every 100 grams. Goat, liver holds 3.48 mg of zinc. The calorie to zinc ratio in kilocalories/milligrams of Goat, liver is 36.10. Thus, Goat, liver, positions at 14 in foods high in zinc.

13. Sheep, liver (Animal meat)

Sheep, liver has 133.51 kilocalories of energy per 100 grams. Sheep, liver comprises 3.73 milligrams of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio in kCal/mg of Sheep, liver is 35.79. Therefore, Sheep, liver ranks 13 in zinc rich foods.

12. Clam, green shell (Marine mollusks)

Clam, green shell has 58.04 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight. Clam, green shell holds 1.64 milligrams of zinc. The Ratio of Energy to zinc of Clam, green shell is 35.39 kcal to milligrams. Accordingly, Clam, green shell, grades at 12 in foods high in zinc.

11. Sheep, chops (Animal meat)

Sheep, chops have 118.46 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Sheep, chops comprise 3.46 mg of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio of Sheep, chops is 34.24 kCal/milligrams. So, Sheep, chops, positions at 11 in zinc rich foods.

10. Garden cress (Green leafy vegetables)

Garden cress has 49.68 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Garden cress contains 1.52 milligrams of zinc. The calorie to zinc ratio in kilocalories/milligrams of Garden cress is 32.68. Thus, Garden cress ranks 10 in zinc foods.

9. Crab (Freshwater fish and shellfish)

Crab has 78.10 Kcal energy every 100 grams. Crab holds 2.49 mg of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio in kCal/mg of Crab is 31.37. Therefore, Crab, lines at 9 in foods high in zinc.

8. Goat, chops (Animal meat)

Goat, chops have 135.66 Kcal energy every 100 grams by weight. Goat, chops contain 4.55 mg of zinc. The Ratio of Energy to zinc of Goat, chops is 29.81 kcal to milligrams. Accordingly, Goat, chops, positions at 8 in zinc foods.

7. Bathua leaves (Green leafy vegetables)

Bathua leaves have 27.70 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight. Bathua leaves holds 0.98 milligrams of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio of Bathua leaves is 28.27 kCal/milligrams. So, Bathua leaves ranks 7 in foods high in zinc.

6. Oyster mushrooms, dried ( Mushrooms)

Oyster mushrooms, dried have 243.37 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Oyster mushrooms, dried comprise 8.67 mg of zinc. The calorie to zinc ratio in kilocalories/milligrams of Oyster mushrooms, dried is 28.07. Thus, Oyster mushrooms, dried, lines at 6 in zinc rich foods.

5. Onion, stalk (Other vegetables)

Onion, stalk has 25.56 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Onion, stalk contains 0.99 milligrams of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio in kCal/mg of Onion, stalk is 25.81. Therefore, Onion, stalk grades at 5 in zinc foods.

4. Crab, sea (Marin shellfish)

Sea crab has 67.59 kilocalories of energy per 100 grams. Crab, sea comprises 3.07 milligrams of zinc. The Ratio of Energy to zinc of sea crab is 22.02 kcal to milligrams. Accordingly, sea crab ranks 4 in zinc rich foods.

3. Amaranth spined leaves, green (Green leafy vegetables)

Amaranth spined leaves, green has 26.27 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight with 1.57 milligrams of zinc. The calorie to zinc ratio in kilocalories/milligrams of Amaranth spined leaves, green is 16.73. Thus, Amaranth spined leaves, green, grades at 3 in foods high in zinc. In fact, all the species of Amaranth leaves are low in calories and rich in zinc.

2. Mud crab (Marin shellfish)

Mud crab has 45.38 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Mud crab comprises 3.3 mg of zinc. The Energy to zinc ratio in kCal/mg of Mud crab is 13.75. Therefore, Mud crab, positions at 2 in zinc rich foods.

1. Oyster (Marin shellfish)

Oyster has 60.19 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Oyster contains 7.35 milligrams of zinc. The Energy, kCal to zinc, mg ratio of Oyster is 8.19. Hence, Oyster ranks 1 in zinc foods.

These are all excellent sources of zinc for your diet, especially if you are trying to avoid lifestyle disease, slow aging, and build immunity. These foods are also rich in other nutrients as well that are required for the body.

As an added bonus, most of these zinc rich foods are low in calories, which can further help you to lose weight without compromising your nutrition. This is important for individuals trying to keep their weight within a healthy range.

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