Do you feel as though you could really do with more zinc in your diet? In this article, Beauty and Tips takes a look at the best sources for this key nutrient.
Consuming zinc is kinda important. It plays a role in over 100 enzymatic reactions in your body and you need to consume a small amount of it each day in order to stay healthy. Zinc also works like an antioxidant, combating the damage done by free radicals, so that you don’t age too quickly. However, many of us don’t get enough zinc, and indeed zinc deficiency is now widely recognised for the problem that it is. Women are most a risk, because they generally need more zinc than men. Others at risk of a zinc deficiency include vegans and vegetarians, as well as alcoholics and even endurance athletes. The good news is that it’s easy enough to get an adequate amount of zinc into your system each day via your diet. Let’s take a look at 10 zinc rich foods to include in your diet.
Breakfast wouldn’t be breakfast without oatmeal. Just us? Can’t be! Oatmeal makes for an awesome breakfast. Not only is it one of amazing zinc rich foods – 6.2mg per 156g serving – but it’s also rich in fibre, which means that it’s a super satisfying way to kick start your day. Not just that but oatmeal is very versatile and can be mixed with quinoa, berries, seeds, coconut, honey and more. What a fine, hearty way to start your morning!
Oysters used to be a widely available, affordable working-class food before the outbreak of war in the first half of the 20th century in Europe. However, war and the subsequent food shortage changed all that. Once the war was over, oysters became scarce, their value rose and they became an expensive delicacy. They sure do taste like an expensive delicacy, too, and they’re also one of great zinc rich foods. In fact, just one medium oyster contains around 5.3mpg of zinc, which is really good! Oysters also contain lots of protein and they’re low in calories. Other good stuff they have include selenium, iron, vitamin B-12 and vitamin C.
If you’re a meat eater, lamb should be high up on your weekly grocery list, as not only does it taste great, it’s also an excellent source of zinc. Just a 113g serving of lamb contains 3.9mg of zinc, which is just over 25% of your daily recommended amount. Not bad, huh? Lamb is also a high quality protein, which means it provides you with lots of energy and can help to build muscle. It contains all the essential amino acids, including beta-alanine, an amino acid that boosts physical performance. Try roasted lamb or lamb chops to get your zinc fix.
Nuts and Seeds
If you still consume hardly any nuts and seeds, now’s the time to start adding them to your diet, as they are also one of amazing zinc rich foods. Nuts and seeds might be small and they might look relatively insignificant but they pack a massive punch. They’ve also got a crunch and compliment your smoothies, salads, yogurts or morning bowl of oatmeal. A handful of pine nuts or pumpkin seeds contains as much as 15% of your daily recommended amount of zinc. Pretty good, huh? There are lots of other options when it comes to nuts and seeds. Try the likes of peanuts, pecans and cashews for more low-fat, zinc-rich goodness.
Who knew that getting your zinc fix could be so indulgent? Dark chocolate needn’t be a guilty pleasure. In fact, it could even be termed a super food thanks to its antioxidant properties alone. And because a 100g serving of dark chocolate contains almost 10mg of zinc, you should aim to eat 2 squares per day.
There are lots of great cheeses on the market, with Swiss cheese being just one of them. It’s one of excellent zinc rich foods, with a 132g serving containing around 5.8mg of the essential mineral. Swiss cheese is also a really good source of calcium, and since many Americans are calcium deficient we could probably all do with finding more calcium sources. But perhaps the best thing about Swiss cheese is that it contains all the essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein. There’s a caveat, however: Swiss cheese is also rich in bad fats, which means you shouldn’t over indulge. Just be careful!
Peas are not to everyone’s tastes, but if you happen to love ‘em, it’s time to eat more of them as a 160g serving contains around 13% of your daily recommended amount of zinc. As well zinc, peas should be consumed by weight watchers everywhere, because they contain barely any fat and zee cholesterol. They’re also super low in sodium. Go peas! All you need to do is add them to your soups or salads.
Like nuts and seeds, whole grains come with SO many health benefits that you should probably have added them to your diet by now. If you haven’t, there’s still time. Whole grains – which include the likes of quinoa and whole wheat bread – are also excellent zinc rich foods, they are also stuffed with all kinds of other minerals and vitamins. And because they contain fibre, they also leave you feeling satisfied for longer.
You can, of course, consume the whole egg, but if your usual practice is to eat the egg whites and leave the yolk, you’ll need to rethink that strategy, if you want to get more zinc into your diet. See, the zinc is in the yolk – about 5.6mg of it, in fact. But that’s not all; egg yolk also contains the likes of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A, D, E and K. The best way to get your egg yolk fix is to soft boil the egg and dip your bread in it. It’s scrumptious!
Mushrooms come in a variety of different types. All you need to do is pick a favourite because a single cup serving contains almost 10% of your daily recommended amount of zinc. Fantastic!
What are your favourite zinc rich foods?
–Source: Beauty and Tips