23 High Zinc Foods for Vegans and Vegetarians

23 High Zinc Foods for Vegans and Vegetarians

Zinc is an essential nutrient required by the body for creating over 300 enzymes, and it is the most abundant metal in the body after iron.

Health benefits of zinc include enhanced immune function, reductions of the common cold, and faster wound healing. Beyond this, zinc is vital for the proper functioning of the human body in general.

Zinc deficiency can lead to hair loss, impotence, diarrhea, delayed wound healing, abnormal taste, and mental fatigue.

Vegans and vegetarians need to be especially aware of zinc since zinc availability is lower in plant foods than animal foods. Further, the amount of zinc found in vegetables and other plant foods can vary greatly depending on how much zinc is in the soil where they were grown.

Do phytates harm zinc absorption?

While phytates, which are present in whole-grain breads, cereals, and legumes, do somewhat inhibit absorption of zinc, these foods are still a good source of zinc. Vegans and vegetarians should be aware of this and aim to consume 200% of the DV to compensate for the bioavailability of zinc.

Vegan and vegetarian sources of zinc include fortified cereals, wheat germ, tofu, hemp seeds, lentils, yogurt, oatmeal, wild rice, squash seeds, and milk. The daily value for zinc is 15mg per day.

Below are 23 vegan and vegetarians foods high in zinc, for more, see the articles on high zinc nuts, high zinc fruits, and high zinc vegetables. You can also create your own list using the nutrient ranking of over 200 vegetarian foods high in zinc.


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List of Vegetarian Zinc Foods

A bowl of bran flakes 1 Fortified Cereals
  • 124% DV (19mg) zinc per 3/4 cup
  • 277% DV (42mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 429% DV (64mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Photo of wheat plants 2 Toasted Wheat Germ
  • 32% DV (5mg) zinc per oz
  • 58% DV (9mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 111% DV (17mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
A block of tofu 3 Tofu
  • 26% DV (4mg) zinc per cup
  • 15% DV (2mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 10% DV (2mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Hemp Seeds 4 Hemp Seeds
  • 19% DV (3mg) zinc per oz
  • 24% DV (4mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 66% DV (10mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Not sure how to use hemp seeds? Sprinkle them on top of cereal, salads, or oatmeal.
See the top 10 nuts and seeds high in zinc.

Nutrition Facts for Hemp Seeds.
Lentils 5 Lentils
  • 17% DV (3mg) zinc per cup
  • 15% DV (2mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 8% DV (1mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Plain yogurt with raspberries 6 Low-Fat Yogurt
  • 16% DV (2mg) zinc per cup
  • 23% DV (3mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 6% DV (1mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries 7 Oatmeal
  • 16% DV (2mg) zinc per cup
  • 19% DV (3mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 7% DV (1mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Wild Rice 8 Wild Rice
  • 15% DV (2mg) zinc per cup
  • 18% DV (3mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 9% DV (1mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
9% DV Zinc in 1 cup of Brown Rice.
See the nutrient ranking of grains high in zinc.

Nutrition Facts for Cooked Wild Rice.
Squash and Pumpkin Seeds 9 Seeds (Squash and Pumpkin Seeds)
  • 14% DV (2mg) zinc per 1oz handful
  • 18% DV (3mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 51% DV (8mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Glass of milk 10 Milk
  • 14% DV (2mg) zinc per 16oz glass
  • 13% DV (2mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 3% DV (0mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
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A bowl of quinoa 11 Quinoa
  • 13% DV (2mg) zinc per cup
  • 12% DV (2mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 7% DV (1mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Shiitake Mushrooms 12 Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 13% DV (2mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • 32% DV (5mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 9% DV (1mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Black Beans 13 Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)
  • 13% DV (2mg) zinc per cup
  • 11% DV (2mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 7% DV (1mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Green Peas 14 Green Peas
  • 13% DV (2mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • 19% DV (3mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 8% DV (1mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
A Bowl of Spinach 15 Spinach
  • 9% DV (1mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • 44% DV (7mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 5% DV (1mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Mushrooms 16 White Button Mushrooms
  • 9% DV (1mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • 41% DV (6mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 6% DV (1mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Lima Beans 17 Lima Beans
  • 9% DV (1mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • 9% DV (1mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 5% DV (1mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Chia Seeds 18 Chia Seeds
  • 9% DV (1mg) zinc per oz (~2 tblsp)
  • 13% DV (2mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 31% DV (5mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Pecans 19 Pecans
  • 9% DV (1mg) zinc per oz
  • 9% DV (1mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 30% DV (5mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Half an avocado 20 Avocados
  • 9% DV (1mg) zinc per avocado
  • 5% DV (1mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 4% DV (1mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
A slice of swiss cheese 21 Swiss Cheese
  • 8% DV (1mg) zinc per oz
  • 15% DV (2mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 29% DV (4mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Flax Seeds 22 Flax Seeds
  • 8% DV (1mg) zinc per oz
  • 11% DV (2mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 29% DV (4mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Asparagus 23 Asparagus
  • 7% DV (1mg) zinc per cup cooked
  • 36% DV (5mg) per 200 calorie serving
  • 4% DV (1mg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)

See All 200 Vegetarian Foods 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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