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15 Zinc Rich Foods

Zinc is a fundamental mineral for the body, but it is not produced by the human body and is easily found in foods of animal origin. Its functions are to ensure the proper functioning of the nervous system and strengthen your immune system, leaving the body stronger to resist infections caused by viruses, fungi or bacteria.

In addition, zinc plays important structural roles and is an essential component of various body proteins. Therefore, lack of zinc can lead to changes in taste sensitivity, hair loss, difficulty healing and even growth and developmental problems in children.

Some of the main sources of zinc are animal foods such as oysters, beef or liver. Fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, are low in zinc, so people on a vegetarian diet, for example, should especially eat soybeans and nuts such as almonds or peanuts to keep their zinc levels balanced.

15 Zinc Rich Foods

Why is Zinc important

Zinc is very important for the functioning of the body, having functions such as:

  • Strengthens your immune system;
  • Fights physical and mental tiredness;
  • Increases energy levels;
  • Delay's aging;
  • Improves memory
  • Regulates the production of various hormones;
  • Improves skin appearance and strengthen hair.

Zinc deficiency can cause decreased taste sensation, anorexia, apathy, growth retardation, hair loss, delayed sexual maturation, low sperm production, impaired immunity, glucose intolerance. While excess zinc can manifest through nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, anemia or copper deficiency.

Zinc Rich Food Table

This list below, shows the foods with the highest amounts of zinc.

Foods (100 g)Zinc
1. Cooked oysters39 mg
2. Roasted Ox8,5 mg
3. Cooked turkey4,5 mg
4. Cooked Veal4,4 mg
5. Cooked chicken liver4,3 mg
6. Pumpkin Seeds4,2 mg
7. Cooked soy beans4,1 mg
8. Cooked lamb4 mg
9. Almonds3,9 mg
10. Pecan3,6 mg
11. Peanuts3,5 mg
12. Brazilian nuts3,2 mg
13. Cashew nuts3,1 mg
14. Cooked chicken2,9 mg
15. Cooked pork2,4 mg

Recommended Daily Intake

The recommended daily intake varies according to your age, but a balanced diet ensures that you consume the amount needed.

Zinc content in your blood should range from 70 to 130 mcg / dL of blood and in urine it is normal to be between 230 to 600 mcg of zinc / day.

Age /genderRecommended daily intake (mg)
1 - 3 years of age3,0
4 - 8 years of age5,0
9 -13 years of age8,0
Men between 14  and 18 years of age11,0
Women between 14  and 18 years of age9,0
Men older than 18 years of age11,0
Women older than 18 years of age8,0
Pregnant women under the age of 1814,0
Pregnant in women older than 18 years of age11,0
Women who breastfeed under the age of 1814,0
Women who breastfeed older than 18 years of age12,0

Ingesting Zinc in lower quantities that those recommended for long periods may cause delayed sexual and bone maturation, hair loss, skin lesions, increased susceptibility to infections or poor appetite.

Bibliography >

  • MAHAN, L. Kathleen et al. Krause: Alimentos, Nutrição e Dietoterapia. 13.ed. São Paulo: Elsevier Editora, 2013. 111-114.
  • COZZOLINO Silvia. Biodisponibilidade de nutrientes. 4º. Brasil: Manole Ltda, 2012. 695-714.
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