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Top 10 Vegetables Highest in Zinc

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
Powered by USDA Nutrition Data
Top 10 Vegetables Highest in Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining a sense of smell, keeping a healthy immune system, building proteins, triggering enzymes, and creating DNA. Zinc also helps the cells in your body communicate by functioning as a neurotransmitter.

A deficiency in zinc can lead to stunted growth, diarrhea, impotence, hair loss, eye and skin lesions, impaired appetite, and depressed immunity.

Conversely, consuming too much zinc can disrupt absorption of copper and iron, as well as create large amounts of toxic free radicals. It is easier to over consume zinc from animal foods and supplements where it is more readily available for absorption.

Vegans and vegetarians who primarily consume plant foods may have difficulty getting enough zinc since zinc is not as bioavailable in plants foods as in animal foods. This is partly because bean and legumes contain phytates which can inhibit absorption. Despite this, plant foods are a still a good source of zinc and there is no reason to eat meat or take a supplement.

The current daily value (%DV) for zinc is 11mg, but vegetarians and vegans should aim to eat 30mg a day. Vegetables high in zinc include shiitake mushrooms, green peas, spinach, lima beans, lentil sprouts, asparagus, beet greens, broccoli, okra, and sweet corn.

Below is a list of high zinc vegetables ranked by common serving size, for more see the list of high zinc foods for vegans and vegetarians, high zinc fruits, and the nutrient ranking of 200 vegetables high in zinc.

List of Vegetables High in Zinc

Shiitake Mushrooms

#1: Shiitake Mushrooms

Zinc per Cup CookedZinc per 100g
18% DV (1.9mg)12% DV (1.3mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Cooked Shiitake Mushrooms

Other Mushrooms High in Zinc

-12% DV zinc per cup of white button mushrooms
-12% DV per cup of morel mushrooms
-9% DV per cup of crimini mushrooms
Green Peas

#2: Green Peas

Zinc per Cup CookedZinc per 100g
17% DV (1.9mg)11% DV (1.2mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Cooked Green Peas
A Bowl of Spinach

#3: Spinach

Zinc per Cup CookedZinc per 100g
12% DV (1.4mg)7% DV (0.8mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Cooked Spinach
Lima Beans

#4: Lima Beans

Zinc per Cup CookedZinc per 100g
12% DV (1.3mg)7% DV (0.8mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Cooked Lima Beans
Lentil Sprouts

#5: Lentil Sprouts

Zinc per Cup CookedZinc per 100g
11% DV (1.2mg)14% DV (1.5mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Lentil Sprouts
-11%DV zinc in 1 cup of pea sprouts
-9% DV in 1 cup of cooked soybean sprouts
-5% DV in 1 cup of mung bean sprouts
Asparagus

#6: Asparagus

Zinc per Cup CookedZinc per 100g
10% DV (1.1mg)5% DV (0.6mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Asparagus (Cooked)
Beet Greens

#7: Beet Greens

Zinc per Cup CookedZinc per 100g
7% DV (0.7mg)5% DV (0.5mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Cooked Beet Greens
Broccoli Stalk

#8: Broccoli

Zinc per Cup CookedZinc per 100g
6% DV (0.7mg)4% DV (0.5mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Broccoli (Cooked)
Sliced Okra

#9: Okra

Zinc per Cup CookedZinc per 100g
6% DV (0.7mg)4% DV (0.4mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Cooked Okra
Yellow Sweet Corn

#10: Sweet Corn

Zinc per Cup CookedZinc per 100g
6% DV (0.7mg)4% DV (0.5mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Yellow Sweet Corn

See All 200 Vegetables High in Zinc

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Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
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