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Top 10 Food Containing Copper

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Copper is an essential trace mineral, required for utilization of iron, reduction of oxidative stress, maintenance of healthy bones and connective tissue, regulation of thyroid gland function, and production of melanin (skin pigment) and myelin sheath (surrounds and protects nerves). Dietary inadequacy of Food Containing Copper results in osteoporosis, joint pain, lowered immunity, and anemia. On the other hand, over consumption of copper, due to intake of supplements causes cramps, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headaches, diarrhea, and vomiting in the short term. Long term excessive intake leads to depression, stuttering, schizophrenia, hypertension, autism, senility, and insomnia.

Hence, to avoid copper toxicity it is best to meet copper demands from natural sources than resort to supplements. The following table will help you know you copper needs.


Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Copper


Life stage



0-6 months


7-12 months


1-3 years


4-8 years


Boys and Girls 9-13 years


Boys and Girls 14-18 years


Men  and Women 19-70 years


Men and Women 70 + years


Pregnant women 14-50 years


Lactating women 14-50 years



Food Sources of Copper

Copper can be obtained from both vegetarian and non vegetarian sources, and its absorption is best in an acidic environment. Some foods that are copper rich are seafood, calf liver, organ meat, mushrooms, molasses, nuts, lentils, legumes, enriched cereals, black pepper, fruits and vegetables (dried fruits, chard, spinach, mustard greens, kale, summer squash, eggplant, asparagus, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, grapes, and avocado).


Here is a list of Top 10 Food Containing Copper.


  1. Liver (Pate): Organ meat, especially liver is the best source of copper, and the levels are highest in veal liver (15mg/100g serving).
  2. Oysters: The copper content of oysters varies between 1 – 8 mg (/100g serving) based on type and variety. Also, wild oysters contain higher levels compared to farm raised ones.
  3. Sesame seeds and Tahini: Dried sesame seeds contain 7.75mg of copper/100g, and sesame butter used in Mediterranean recipes provides 0.24mg /tablespoon.
  4. Cocoa Powder and Chocolate: Copper content of this versatile ingredient is 3.8mg/100g serving.
  5. Nuts: Nuts are excellent sources of copper, cashews top the list (2.2mg/100g), followed by include hazelnuts, brazil nuts, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, peanuts, pecans, and Almonds.
  6. Calamari and Lobster: 100 grams of calamari (squid) gives 2.1mg of copper, and lobsters provide you with 1.9mg.
  7. Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are very nutritious, and provide 1.8mg of copper per 100g, that is 0.5mg/ounce.
  8. Sun dried tomatoes: Used in sandwiches, pastas and salads, sun dried tomatoes contain 1.4mg of copper per 100g serving.
  9. Roasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds: These are a Middle Eastern or East Asian specialty with a high copper content (1.9 – 1.4mg/100g serving).
  10. Dried herbs: These potent complimentary medicines also provide good amount of copper too. The best source is dried basil (1.4mg/100g), followed by Marjoram, Oregano, Thyme, Savory, and Parsley.


You would be surprised to know that the copper content of water can be increased by the vessel it is carried in! Curious? Learn more about Cooking in Copper Vessels, does it really help you!

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Top 10 Food Containing Copper