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Foods High in Zinc

What is zinc and its benefits?

There are good health benefits for eating foods high in zinc. Zinc is a trace mineral that is essential for maintaining the immune system, metabolic processes and growth both in children, adults and during pregnancy. It is critical for skin healing, insulin production, vision, taste and smell as well as helping with bone growth.

The health benefits of zinc are numerous and a deficiency can lead to a wide variety of diseases. Side effects are not expected if the dose used is kept within the US Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 11 mg for an adult male and 8 mg for an adult female. Click here to get the other doses for the different age groups.

Foods high in zinc

Below is a table listing foods that are high in zinc. The highest zinc containing food is oyster, although it is not a popular choice for Americans. (Oyster is considered a libido boosting food that can act as an aphrodisiac.)

Obviously, many foods such as ready-to-eat cereals fortified with zinc will be a rich source of this essential mineral.

Food Zinc Content Serving Size / Weight
Oyster 76 mg
6 medium (84 g)
Cereals (varies)
6 - 15 mg
1 cup (30 g)
11 mg
1 neck (152 g)
Alaska king crab 6.5 mg 3 oz (85 g)
Lamb 6.2 mg 3 oz (85 g)
Chicken 6.1 mg 1 cup (145 g)
Hamburger (at fast food) 5.8 mg 1 burger (215 g)
Beans, plain or vegetarian (baked or canned)
5.8 mg
1 cup (254 g)
Ground beef
5.3 mg
3 oz (85 g)
Pork 4.3 mg 3 oz (85 g)
Kidney beans 4.2 mg 1 cup (254 g)
Whole-grain wheat flour 3.5 mg 1 cup (120 g)
Ricotta cheese (part skim milk) 3.3 mg 1 cup (245 g)
Cheese sauce from recipe 3.0 mg 1 cup (243 g)
Oat bran (raw) 2.9 mg 1 cup (94 g)
Baking chocolate (unsweetened) 2.7 mg 1 square (28 g)
Yogurt (plain, skim milk) 2.2 mg 1 container (8 oz / 227 g)
Wild rice 2.2 mg 1 cup (164 g)
White rice 2.0 mg 1 cup (185 g)
Hot dog (at fast food) 2.0 mg 1 hot dog (98 g)
Split peas 2.0 mg 1 cup (196 g)
Shiitake mushrooms 1.9 mg 1 cup (145 g)
Roasted cashew nuts with salt 1.6 mg 1 oz (28 g)

Note: Most multi-vitamins will contain at least the RDA amount of zinc so taking a pill daily would ensure you are not deficient in this essential mineral. Taking a daily multi-vitamin is the surest way of getting the needed zinc and is more liable than eating foods high in zinc.

A zinc deficiency has been show to reduce fertility in men and reduce sex drive.

Related topics that may of interest to you

Zinc for Men Fertility

Zinc - Get the full comprehensive review on this mineral

Zinc to Boost Sex Drive

Return to FAQ List from Foods High in Zinc

References + US Department of Agriculture
Revised: June 11, 2011

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