Top 10 Vegetables Highest in Zinc

Top 10 Vegetables Highest in Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral forming a component of more than 300 enzymes in the body with functions including wound healing, immune system function, building proteins and DNA, fertility in adults and growth in children. Zinc is also needed for maintaining the senses of smell and taste.

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 the absorption of copper and iron, as well as creating large amounts of toxic free radicals. It is easier to over-consume zinc from animal foods and supplements, from which it is more readily absorbed.

Vegans and vegetarians who primarily consume plant foods may have difficulty getting enough zinc, as zinc is not as bioavailable in plant foods as in animal foods. This is partly because beans and legumes contain phytates which can inhibit absorption. Despite this, plant foods are 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 Cooked
Zinc
per 100g
Zinc
per 200 Calories
1.9mg
(18% DV)
1.3mg
(12% DV)
4.8mg
(43% DV)

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 Cooked
Zinc
per 100g
Zinc
per 200 Calories
1.9mg
(17% DV)
1.2mg
(11% DV)
2.8mg
(26% DV)
A Bowl of Spinach

#3: Spinach

Zinc
per Cup Cooked
Zinc
per 100g
Zinc
per 200 Calories
1.4mg
(12% DV)
0.8mg
(7% DV)
6.6mg
(60% DV)
Lima Beans

#4: Lima Beans

Zinc
per Cup Cooked
Zinc
per 100g
Zinc
per 200 Calories
1.3mg
(12% DV)
0.8mg
(7% DV)
1.3mg
(12% DV)
Lentil Sprouts

#5: Lentil Sprouts

Zinc
per Cup Cooked
Zinc
per 100g
Zinc
per 200 Calories
1.2mg
(11% DV)
1.5mg
(14% DV)
2.8mg
(26% DV)

More Sprouts High in Zinc

  • 11% DV 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 Cooked
Zinc
per 100g
Zinc
per 200 Calories
1.1mg
(10% DV)
0.6mg
(5% DV)
5.5mg
(50% DV)
Beet Greens

#7: Beet Greens

Zinc
per Cup Cooked
Zinc
per 100g
Zinc
per 200 Calories
0.7mg
(7% DV)
0.5mg
(5% DV)
3.7mg
(34% DV)
Broccoli Stalk

#8: Broccoli

Zinc
per Cup Cooked
Zinc
per 100g
Zinc
per 200 Calories
0.7mg
(6% DV)
0.5mg
(4% DV)
2.6mg
(23% DV)
Sliced Okra

#9: Okra

Zinc
per Cup Cooked
Zinc
per 100g
Zinc
per 200 Calories
0.7mg
(6% DV)
0.4mg
(4% DV)
3.9mg
(36% DV)
Yellow Sweet Corn

#10: Sweet Corn

Zinc
per Cup Cooked
Zinc
per 100g
Zinc
per 200 Calories
0.7mg
(6% DV)
0.5mg
(4% DV)
1.1mg
(10% DV)

See All 200 Vegetables High in Zinc

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Printable list of vegetables high in zinc.

About the Data

Data for the curated food lists comes from the USDA Food Data Central Repository.

You can check our data against the USDA by clicking the (Source) link at the bottom of each food listing.

Note: When checking data please be sure the serving sizes are the same. In the rare case you find any difference, please contact us and we will fix it right away.

About Nutrient Targets

Setting targets can provide a guide to healthy eating.

Some of the most popular targets include:
  • Daily Value (%DV) - The %DV is a general guideline for everyone and accounts for absorption factors. It is the most common target in the U.S. and is the target on the nutrition labels of most products. It is set by the U.S. FDA.
  • Reference Dietary Intake (%RDI) - The Reference Dietary Intake (RDI) is a customized target accounting for age and gender. It is set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. The RDI for amino acids is set by the U.N. World Health Organization. The daily value (%DV) builds on the reference dietary intake to create a number for everyone.
  • Adequate Intake (%AI) - Sets a target for Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats. The Adequate Intake is also set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. It represents a number to ensure adequacy but lacks the same level of evidence as the Reference Dietary Intake. In short, the number is less accurate than the RDI.
  • See the Guide to Recommended Daily Intakes for more information.

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Data Sources and References

  1. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central