Top 10 Vegetables Highest in Zinc

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.

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List of Vegetables High in Zinc

Shiitake Mushrooms 1 Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 18% DV (2mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • Calories: 81 | Weight: 145g (5.1oz)

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

Nutrition Facts for Cooked Shiitake Mushrooms.
Green Peas 2 Green Peas
  • 17% DV (2mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • Calories: 134 | Weight: 160g (5.6oz)
A Bowl of Spinach 3 Spinach
  • 12% DV (1mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • Calories: 41 | Weight: 180g (6.3oz)
Lima Beans 4 Lima Beans
  • 12% DV (1mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • Calories: 209 | Weight: 170g (6oz)
Lentil Sprouts 5 Lentil Sprouts
  • 11% DV (1mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • Calories: 82 | Weight: 77g (2.7oz)
-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

Nutrition Facts for Lentil Sprouts.
Asparagus 6 Asparagus
  • 10% DV (1mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • Calories: 40 | Weight: 180g (6.3oz)
Beet Greens 7 Beet Greens
  • 7% DV (1mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • Calories: 39 | Weight: 144g (5.1oz)
Broccoli Stalk 8 Broccoli
  • 6% DV (1mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • Calories: 55 | Weight: 156g (5.5oz)
Sliced Okra 9 Okra
  • 6% DV (1mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • Calories: 35 | Weight: 160g (5.6oz)
Yellow Sweet Corn 10 Sweet Corn
  • 6% DV (1mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • Calories: 125 | Weight: 145g (5.1oz)

See All 200 Vegetables High in Zinc

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View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

Data Sources and References

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

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