Top 10 Best Foods Rich in Zinc

What are the top 10 foods rich in zinc? Zinc is an essential mineral that helps produce enzymes, proteins, and hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen. These hormones are involved in many of the body’s vital functions, including sexual development and reproduction. If you want to make sure you’re getting enough zinc, include these top 10 foods rich in zinc into your diet often.

Importance of Zinc in body

Zinc is an essential mineral for the human body. It helps the immune system function properly, aids in cell growth and division, and is necessary for wound healing.

Zinc also helps the body process carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Getting enough zinc can be a challenge, but including foods like burro bananas in your diet can help you meet your needs.

The average adult requires 8 mg of zinc per day, while pregnant women need 11 mg per day. Eating one or two burro bananas each day can provide as much as 3 mg of zinc–that’s almost half of what most people need!

Here are the top 10 foods rich in zinc these are follows –

  1. Oysters
  2. Beef liver
  3. Lamb chops
  4. Pumpkin seeds
  5. Sesame Seeds
  6. Wheat Germ
  7. Lentils
  8. Kidney Beans
  9. Yogurt
  10. Turkey Bacon

1) Oysters

Top 10 Best Foods Rich in Zinc
Fresh Oysters

The oyster is considered a fairly good source of zinc, containing about 0.5 milligrams (mg) per small serving.

Most people prefer eating an oyster raw with lemon or cooked in sauce or stew. You will find that you can get more zinc by grilling and cooking it as opposed to eating it raw. Other foods rich in zinc are crab, lobster, calf liver and turkey legs.

For those who have trouble swallowing foods like oysters, there are also foods rich in zinc that you can take as supplements.

Some examples include whole grains, beans and nuts. Many other foods contain trace amounts of zinc but may not be sufficient enough for your daily needs.

2) Beef Liver

zinc rich food
Raw beef liver, ready to be cooked. On a cutting board with chopped onions and parsley aside. Isolated on white background.

If you’re looking for a foods rich in zinc, look no further than beef liver. An excellent source of iron and zinc, beef liver is loaded with vitamins B12 and A as well.

If you don’t like liver, try consuming other zinc-rich foods such as crab, oysters or pumpkin seeds. You can also boost your consumption of vitamins by eating more dark leafy greens or whole grains.

Vitamin C helps your body absorb minerals, so it may be helpful to pair foods rich in zinc with foods high in vitamin C.

Oranges are one example of a food that contains both nutrients. To get even more vitamins into your diet, take a multivitamin supplement once per day—but consult with your doctor first to make sure it’s right for you.

3) Lamb Chops

Best Foods Rich in Zinc
Best Foods Rich in Zinc

Research studies have shown that zinc has a direct influence on testosterone and sperm levels.

Lamb chops are rich in zinc, making them one of the best foods for men who want to increase their sperm count or boost their testosterone levels.

In fact, 100 grams of lamb chops offer about 25% of your daily recommended intake of zinc.

If you don’t like lamb, try beef, which is another food high in zinc. Beef tenderloin and lean sirloin contain around 15-18% of your daily recommended intake of zinc per 100 grams.

You can also get good amounts of zinc from seafood such as oysters (about 20%), crab (around 17%) and lobster (about 16%).

Other foods rich in zinc include chicken breast (about 13%), tofu (around 9%) and beans such as black beans, soybeans, kidney beans and lentils (each around 8%).

4) Pumpkin Seeds

Best Foods Rich in Zinc
Best Foods Rich in Zinc

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc. The Institute of Medicine, which sets daily recommendations for nutrients, recommends 11 milligrams of zinc for men and 8 milligrams for women.

Pumpkin seeds supply your body with 5.4 milligrams per 1-ounce serving (roughly 1⁄4 cup), supplying around half of your daily zinc needs.

They’re also packed with protein and other minerals like iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Because pumpkin seeds are high in fat, you should limit yourself to no more than one handful each day to keep your calorie intake under control.

5) Sesame Seeds

Best Foods Rich in Zinc
Best Foods Rich in Zinc

Sesame seeds are rich in zinc and have a high digestibility. They contain 24.9 milligrams of zinc per 100 grams of edible part, which is 4 percent of our daily recommended intake. Sesame seed oil is also rich in zinc, with 6 milligrams per tablespoon.

This means you can use sesame seeds and sesame oil as a natural alternative to processed foods that usually come loaded with added salt and preservatives—and that’s healthier for you too!

Aside from these nutritional benefits, there are many other reasons why we should add more sesame seeds to our diet. The National Institutes of Health recommends eating 2-3 tablespoons of raw or roasted sesame seeds each day for good health.

6) Wheat Germ

Best Foods Rich in Zinc
Sprouted wheat on a white background. Best Foods Rich in Zinc

Wheat germ is one of foods rich in zinc because it is an excellent source of phosphorus, magnesium, and fiber. It is also a good source of manganese and thiamin.

One cup of wheat germ contains over 700% of your daily value for zinc. But that’s not all wheat germ can do! It is also full of iron, selenium, and B vitamins. The best way to eat wheat germ is to add it to oatmeal or smoothies.

7) Lentils

Best Foods Rich in Zinc

Lentils, along with other legumes, are a rich source of zinc. In fact, lentils are thought to contain approximately 1 milligram of zinc per every 100 grams, according to World’s Healthiest Foods. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for men and women is listed at 8 milligrams per day.

This means that eating just 1⁄4 cup of cooked lentils offers nearly 25 percent of your daily zinc requirement. Other sources of zinc include beef, lamb, pork and chicken.
The RDA for adults is 11 mg/day for males between 19-50 years old and 8 mg/day for females between 19-50 years old.

8) Kidney Beans

Best Foods Rich in Zinc
Best Foods Rich in Zinc

While zinc isn’t considered an essential nutrient, it is important. Among other things, zinc helps regulate your immune system and your vision.

The recommended daily intake for adults is 11 milligrams for women and 12 milligrams for men; a 1⁄2 cup of cooked kidney beans provides 3.2 milligrams of zinc. Moreover, 1 cup contains just 161 calories – making them a great choice if you’re trying to lose weight.

And since they are inexpensive, readily available and taste great (kidney beans are often used as chili seasoning), adding them to your diet regularly should be easy. It might also be helpful to know that both red kidney beans and white kidney beans have similar nutritional value.
Why do we need zinc?

9) Yogurt

Best Foods Rich in Zinc
Best Foods Rich in Zinc

Yogurt is a good source of zinc. Try plain yogurt and add fresh fruit to sweeten it up. One cup of plain yogurt contains more than 7 milligrams of zinc, which is 14 percent of your daily requirement. A serving of plain yogurt also provides 9 grams of protein, or 16 percent of your daily recommended intake.

It’s also an excellent source of calcium. The combination of calcium and protein can help you feel full longer between meals so you’re less likely to snack on unhealthy foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients.

10) Turkey Bacon

Best Foods Rich in Zinc
Best Foods Rich in Zinc

It’s not just for breakfast anymore. Turkey bacon is another great way to incorporate zinc into your diet, as it’s packed with 50 percent of your daily value per serving. When it comes to turkey bacon, you can buy strips or a whole slab, which will keep for up to three days when stored properly in your refrigerator.

Be sure not to expose cooked turkey bacon to air for too long, however; it won’t stay fresh for long and can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

If you have leftovers, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container. You can also freeze cooked turkey bacon if you don’t plan on eating it right away. Just make sure to thaw before cooking so that it doesn’t get soggy while heating.

What food is highest in zinc?

Oysters, clams, crab, lobster, and shrimp are among the foods that are highest in zinc. These shellfish also have high levels of selenium, a mineral that may provide protection against cancer and other diseases. In addition to shellfish, you can find zinc—as well as other essential minerals—in vegetables such as spinach, peas, and beans.

Other good sources include nuts and whole grains. Meat is an excellent source of zinc; however, it’s not recommended for vegetarians because it is often accompanied by saturated fat and cholesterol.


The foods listed above are great sources of zinc. Additionally, other foods that contain trace amounts of zinc are also good to include in your diet. You may have heard that oysters contain high amounts of zinc, and they do, but they also contain high levels of cholesterol.

Including a few oysters here and there is fine if you don’t mind your daily consumption getting quite high, but it isn’t something I recommend on a regular basis because excess consumption can lead to health problems.

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