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Top 10 Food Containing Zinc

Nutrispeak's picture


Zinc is an indispensible mineral for the human body as it is essential for maintaining a sense of smell, healthy immune system, building proteins, triggering enzymes, and creating DNA. Consumption of  Foods Containing Zinc is important as deficiency of the mineral can lead to growth retardation, loss of appetite, and impaired immune function. 

While zinc supplements are available, indiscriminate use of these supplements can lead to excess zinc consumption, which can lead to nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headaches.

Hence, it is essential to consume this essential nutrient in the right amount preferable through natural food sources. Read on to know more about the daily zinc requirements and easy sources of zinc in our diet. 



Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Zinc

It is imperative that we know the amount of zinc that is necessasy for our body based on our age and gender. The following table gives you the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of the mineral.






0–6 months

2 mg

2 mg



7–12 months

3 mg

3 mg



1–3 years

3 mg

3 mg



4–8 years

5 mg

5 mg



9–13 years

8 mg

8 mg



14–18 years

11 mg

9 mg

12 mg

13 mg

19+ years

11 mg

8 mg

11 mg

12 mg



Food Sources Of Zinc

The best sources of zinc are non vegetarian foods, like oyster, beef, lamb, pork, crabmeat, turkey, chicken, lobster, clams and salmon.

Vegetarian sources include dairy products such as milk and cheese, yeast, pumpkin seeds, wheat bran, peanuts, beans, wholegrain cereals, brown rice, whole wheat bread, potato, and yogurt. However, most vegetarian foods also contain dietary fibre and phytic acid that inhibit the absorption of zinc.


Top 10 Foods Containing Zinc


1. Oysters: These mollusks, depending on their type and variety give you around 16-182mg of zinc / 100g serving.

2. Wheat Bran: Toasted wheat bran, the often ignored and discarded part wheat, can give you around 17mg of zinc / 100g serving. The crude variety gives around 12 mg / 100g serving, and can be easily sprinkle over or added to salads, rice, or steamed vegetables.

3. Veal Liver: Veal is a delicacy, and veal liver a very good source of zinc. 100g of liver can give you 12mg of zinc

4. Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds can be used as garnish or added to breads and cakes to get around 10mg of zinc / 100g serving. Tahini (sesame butter), used in the preparation of hummus is also a good source as it can give around 4.8 mg of the mineral.

5. Low fat roast beef: Beef shoulder, shank, and chuck contain about 10mg of zinc / 100g serving, Pre-processed beef differs in zinc content.

6. Pumpkin and squash seeds: Whoever thought that the seeds we discard from fruits and vegetable can act as such a vital source of nutrients? A boon for vegetarians, pumpkin and squash seeds contain about 10mg of zinc / 100g serving.

7. Watermelon seeds: Think twice before you spit out that watermelon seed, it can give you 10mg of zinc / 100g serving. It is best if eaten raw, dried and peeled forms of the seeds can also be consumed.

8. Dark chocolate and Cocoa powder: Another reason to eat dark chocolates, they give you 6 -10 mg (64% RDA) of zinc / 100g serving.

9. Lamb: A culinary delight! Depending on the cut, it provides between 4.2-8.7mg of zinc / 100g serving.

10. Peanuts: The humble peanut gives you around 6 -8 mg of zinc / 100g serving. Oil roasted peanuts are a richer source of zinc as compared to the dry roasted ones Whoever thought that the seeds we discard from fruits and vegetable can act as such a vital source of nutrients? A boon for vegetarians, pumpkin and squash seeds contain about 10mg of zinc / 100g serving.


Be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian food items, only 15 -40% of the total zinc consumed gets absorbed in the body. So, pile on these foods with zinc in your plate, and enjoy!


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Gourmet.lover's picture
My doctor have recommended me to feed my son with regular dosages of zinc. Glad, I have finally found natural ways of replenishing him with zinc now :)
thot4food's picture
Wouldn't mind gorging on chocolates to get the required amount of zinc that my body needs
Anonymous's picture
I know that my nephew was given zinc supplements to increase appetite... it is given to pets too!
Anonymous's picture
I love peanuts and munching on them daily gives me zinc. WOW amazing!
Anonymous's picture
Seems that vegetarian items containing zinc are less in number... however, I can depend on yummy chocolates...!
barbecue's picture
natural ways for zinc supplement..nice read though
FitGal's picture
For me, zinc was just a mineral about which we read in our school, but that was before I read this article.'s picture
never knew that chocolate had zinc. nice read.
Top 10 Food Containing Zinc