Zinc performs a plethora of activities in your body. For instance, the mineral is responsible for the functioning of about 300 enzymes. It also chips in maintenance work in your immune system, repairs blood tissues, and metabolizes nutrients as well.
Since your body does not store this mineral, you need to take sufficient amounts of it to meet your body’s daily requirements. On average, a healthy man is recommended to consume 11 mg of zinc daily, whereas, a woman requires 8 mg.
The requirements, however, vary as per your health concern. For instance, pregnant women require 11 mg daily zinc. In this regard, here are some food sources of zinc:
- Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seed oil and seeds are incredible sources of zinc. A cup of these seeds gives you 6.6 milligrams of the mineral. Besides, pumpkin seed oil and seeds help lessen the risk of breast cancer among women in their post-menopause phase. Plus, these are great for mental and prostate health as well.
- Cocoa Powder
Cocoa powder is another zinc source. It also boasts a rich content of two main flavonoids, namely catechin, and epicatechin. These work as antioxidants helping to lower inflammation and preventing diseases. Owing to the presence of flavonoids, cocoa powder can also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.
A cup of mushrooms provides 1.4 mg of zinc. These fungi are also excellent sources of antioxidant activities. They combat cancer, protect heart health, lessen inflammation, and enhance brain function as well. Mushrooms also have a positive reputation for boosting immune health.
Meat of all kinds including lamb and beef are great sources of zinc. A 3.5 ounce serving of raw ground beef delivers 4.8 mg of zinc. This is 43% of the recommended daily requirement of the mineral for men. Meat is also a great source of iron, creatine, and B vitamins. Don’t over-consume meat though as excess meat is associated with an amped up risk of some cancers and heart diseases.
Legumes such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas all provide significant amounts of zinc. For example, 100 grams of cooked lentils deliver 12% of the recommended daily value of the mineral for men. Legumes also supply phytate though. These prevent the absorption of zinc among other minerals. However, this does not mean that legumes are not good sources of zinc.
All nuts such as cashews, almonds, pine nuts, and peanuts provide zinc. Cashews, in particular, boost a high zinc content. You can reap 14% of a men’s daily requirement of zinc from an ounce of cashews. Besides, nuts are excellent sources of fiber and good fats alongside vital minerals and vitamins.
Spinach is a nutrient-dense food that is rich in zinc as well. In addition to its zinc profile, the leafy green vegetable contains protective carotenoids. These correspond with a decreased risk of several diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and neurodegenerative disorders as well. Spinach can aid against certain cancers as well.