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What foods are rich in zinc?

Deborah Beauvais
Nutrition & Dietetics
Zinc, a mineral, is essential for growth, repairing body cells, and energy production. It is also associated with more than two hundred enzymes that control your body processes and that help the immune system function normally. Even mild deficiencies may impair mental performance which is an issue for children, teens and adults as well.

Great sources of zinc are meat, poultry and seafood. It is also found in milk, cheese yogurt and eggs. So there are many options to consume adequate amounts of this mineral. It is best to consume a variety of foods with zinc: whole wheat bread; whole grains, especially the germ and the bran; many legumes; tofu; seeds and nuts in amounts recommended for a balanced diet. It is good to note that grains lose zinc in processing.
Emilia Klapp
Nutrition & Dietetics
Oysters are high in zinc, which stimulates a vital enzyme needed for the health of the retina. Other zinc-rich foods include calves’ liver, crabmeat, roasted turkey, and pumpkin seeds.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

The majority of Americans get most of their zinc from meat and poultry. But serving for serving, oysters contain more zinc than any other food (76.7 mg in six medium oysters). As an added bonus, oysters also are thought to be a great aphrodisiac, so share them with your partner! Other great sources for zinc include beans, nuts, crab, lobster, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products. If these foods don't appeal to you, supplements containing zinc are available at any pharmacy or natural-foods store. These supplements can contain several forms of zinc, including zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate, and zinc acetate -- all great ways to ensure your daily dose.


While the most traditionally cited sources of zinc include oysters, dungeness crab and red meat, other often-overlooked, healthy sources of zinc are soybeans, nuts and seeds. Other sources include peas, lima beans, summer squash, potatoes, corn, Napa cabbage, bok choy, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.