The trace element zinc has it quite nicein itself. Our body needs it to function normally, but it cannot produce it itself. Regular admission is therefore an absolute must. If you screw a little bit on your diet, it goes through the diet. But how exactly? Let’s look at the best zinc foods.
Why do you need zinc at all?
A whole range of enzymes in our body need zinc. Among other things, it is essential for metabolism and cell growth. A lack of zinc can therefore be manifested by numerous problems. These include:
- Problems with skin and hair
- Problems with sense of smell and taste
- Growth disorders
Zinc Foods: The Recommended Daily Dose
Fortunately, the zinc supply in Central Europe is generally comparatively good, as the soils and thus also locally grown foods contain relatively much of the mineral. Nevertheless, one should pay attention to the regular supply with the trace element. This is due to the fact that our body cannot store the nutrient for a long time. Continuous recording is therefore mandatory.
Since we also need zinc for growth, the daily requirement decreases with age. In adults, the WHO advises about 15mg for men and 12mg for women. As far as maximum safe intake is concerned, the European Food Safety Authority speaks of up to 25mg of zinc per day.
There is no clear consensus here, although a person’s daily needs can also differ individually. In addition to age, factors such as tolerability, diet, illness or pregnancy also play a role.
Where’s Zinc: The 10 Best Zinc Foods
If you look at the zinc content in food, you quickly realize that it is not so easy to get to the recommended 15mg per day. But spoiled enough! Let’s take a look at our top 10 zinc foods:
10. Corn (2.5 – 3.5mg zinc per 100g)
Few would associate maize with zinc, but nevertheless it contains about 3mg of it per 100g. Compared to other vegetables, this is not even so little. Even if the zinc content in maize is not the highest, it still makes it into our list.
9. Oysters (7.0 – 160.0mg zinc per 100g)
When it comes to zinc foods, oysters are far ahead. 100g can contain more than 100mg of zinc. Why are the zinc bombs only at number 9 on our list? Well, on the one hand, oysters are not for everyone and on the other hand, in very few cases they come to the plate every day.
8. Liver (6.1 – 8.4mg zinc per 100g)
The situation is similar for liver from beef, calf or pig. In addition to a number of other vitamins and minerals, the meat from the liver also contains a lot of zinc. So if you like to eat liver and want to increase your zinc intake, you can access calmly.
7. Chocolate (3.3mg zinc per 100g)
Compared to the other foods here, chocolate certainly does not have the highest zinc content and should of course not be eaten every day. Around 3mg of zinc per 100g are not to be despised. On top of that, chocolate is also really delicious.
6. Meat (2.4 – 6.0mg zinc per 100g)
With meat, it’s always such a thing. On the one hand, it contains quite a lot of important nutrients, on the other hand, not every one is automatically meat tiger. If you don’t live vegetarian or vegan, you can definitely resort to meat when it comes to zinc.
5. Soy flour (5.7mg zinc per 100g)
Flour from soybean is one of the leaders in zinc foods. It deserves its place in the list mainly because of its diversity. For a simple reason, however, we cannot rank it higher: Phytat. This substance, which by the way contains all legumes, means that zinc cannot be absorbed properly in the intestine. This is where a varied diet is absolutely in demand.
4. Cheese (3.5 – 4.6mg zinc per 100g)
Among the dairy products, cheese with a high zinc content stands out. Especially the varieties Emmentaler, Butterkäse, Tilsiter, Gouda and Edamer are rich in the trace element.
3. Wheat bran (9.0mg zinc per 100g)
Among zinc foods, wheat products are also at the forefront. Especially the bran can contain a lot of zinc and due to the high fiber content also makes itself super as an addition to the morning muesli.
2. Oatmeal (4.0 – 4.5mg zinc per 100g)
Keyword muesli: Oatmeal is also a top zinc supplier and should not be missing on any breakfast table. If you don’t belong to the muesli, you may be able to get excited about a (sugar-free) muesli bar from time to time. In addition to zinc, oatmeal also contains a lot of iron, magnesium and vitamin B.
1. The all-round best zinc food: Pumpkin seeds (7mg zinc per 100g)
The number one on our list and thus the gold medal winners among zinc foods are the pumpkin seeds. They are not only great as a (completely vegan) snack for in between, but also provide many other nutrients in addition to zinc, such as important fatty acids and vitamins.
Healthy diet with zinc foods: Watch out for phytate!
As you can see, a zinc-rich diet depends on one thing above all: variety. In addition to a healthy lifestyle, nutritionists also recommend keeping an eye on phytate intake when it comes to zinc foods. As a rule, vegan or vegetarian people are usually affected here. Phytate is mainly found in plant-based foods such as soya or whole grains. If they are regularly with you on your diet, you should pay attention to additional zinc sources, especially with a low-meat lifestyle.
In addition to a laborious change of diet, zinc supplements are also suitable for this purpose. If you suspect that you are not getting enough zinc, the doctor or the doctor of your trust will be happy to advise you on this.