The 10 Best Foods High in Zinc + Printable One Page Sheet
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 lead to nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headaches in the short term, and can disrupt absorption of copper and iron in the long term. If you have a zinc deficiency, then animal foods are better sources of zinc than plant foods.
Foods high in zinc include oysters, beef, lamb, toasted wheat germ, spinach, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, nuts, dark chocolate, pork, chicken, beans, and mushrooms. The current daily value (DV) for Zinc is 15mg. Below is a list of the top ten foods highest in zinc by common serving size, for more, see the list of high zinc foods by nutrient density, and the extended list of zinc rich foods.
#1: Seafood (Cooked Oysters)Other Seafood High in Zinc (%DV per 3oz cooked):
|Zinc in 100g||Per 3oz (85g)||Per 6 Oysters (42g)|
|78.6mg (524% DV)||66.8mg (445% DV)||33.0mg (220% DV)|
Crab (43%), and Lobster (41%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
#2: Beef and Lamb (Cooked Lean Beef Shortribs)Lamb is also a good source of Zinc (%DV per 3oz cooked):
|Zinc in 100g||1 Rack of Ribs (315g)||1 Lean Ribeye Fillet (129g)|
|12.3mg (82% DV)||38.7mg (258% DV)||14.2mg (95% DV)|
Lean Foreshank (49%), Lean Shoulder (46%) and Lean Cubed Lamb for Stewing (37%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
#3: Wheat Germ (Toasted)Crude or Untoasted Wheat Germ is also a good source of Zinc providing 94% DV per cup. Click to see complete nutrition facts.
|Zinc in 100g||Per Cup (113g)||Per Ounce (28g)|
|16.7mg (111% DV)||18.8mg (126% DV)||4.7mg (31% DV)|
#4: SpinachOther Green Leafy Vegetables High in Zinc (%DV per cup):
|Zinc in 100g (Cooked)||Per Cup (Cooked - 180g)||100g (Raw)|
|0.8mg (5% DV)||1.4mg (9% DV)||0.5mg (4% DV)|
Amaranth Leaves, cooked (8%), and Endive and Radiccio, raw (2%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
#5: Pumpkin and Squash SeedsOther Seeds High in Zinc (%DV per ounce):
|Zinc in 100g||Per Cup (64g)||Per Ounce (28g)|
|10.3mg (69% DV)||6.6mg (44% DV)||2.9mg (19% DV)|
Sesame Seeds (19%), Sunflower (10%), Chia (9%), and Flaxseeds (8%). While phytates in seeds lower zinc absorption, they are still considered a good source of zinc.Ref Click to see complete nutrition facts.
#6: Nuts (Cashews)Other Nuts High in Zinc (%DV per ounce):
|Zinc in 100g (Roasted)||Per Cup (137g)||Per Ounce (28g)|
|5.6mg (37% DV)||7.7mg (51% DV)||1.6mg (10% DV)|
Pine nuts (12%), Pecans (9%), Almonds (6%), Walnuts (6%), Peanuts (6%), and Hazelnuts (5%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
#7: Cocoa and Chocolate (Cocoa Powder)Dark baking Chocolate is also high in Zinc providing 85% DV per cup grated and 19% DV per 29g square
|Zinc in 100g||Per Cup (86g)||Per Tablespoon (5g)|
|6.8mg (45% DV)||5.9mg (39% DV)||0.3mg (2% DV)|
. Top 5 Benefits of Dark Chocolate.Click to see complete nutrition facts.
#8: Pork & Chicken (Cooked Lean Pork Shoulder)Chicken is also High in Zinc providing 15% DV per cooked drumstick
|Zinc in 100g||Per Steak (147g)||Per 3oz (85g)|
|5.0mg (33% DV)||7.4mg (49% DV)||4.3mg (28% DV)|
. Click to see complete nutrition facts.
#9: Beans (Cooked Chickpeas)Other Beans High in Zinc (%DV per cup cooked):
|Zinc in 100g||Per Cup (164g)||Per 3oz (85g)|
|1.5mg (10% DV)||2.5mg (17% DV)||1.3mg (9% DV)|
Baked Beans (39%), Adzuki (27%), and Kidney Beans (12%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
#10: Mushrooms (Cooked White Mushrooms)Other Mushrooms High in Zinc (%DV per Cup Pieces):
|Zinc in 100g||Per Cup Pieces (156g)||Per Mushroom (12g)|
|0.9mg (6% DV)||1.4mg (9% DV)||0.1mg (1% DV)|
Morel, raw (9%), Brown, raw and Portabella, grilled (5%), Oyster, raw (4%), and White, raw (2%). Four Dried Shitake mushrooms contain 8% DV and 4 raw shitake contain 4% DV. Click to see complete nutrition facts.