Food sources rich in zinc

Zinc food sources are spread over both animal and plant kingdoms. Among the animal sources, red meats, shellfish and poultry are rich in zinc.
Among the plants, nuts, seeds and fortified cereals are zinc rich foods. Zinc sources, for easy identity and comparison, can be categorized as red meats, shellfish, poultry, fish, nuts and seeds, fortified cereals and leafy vegetables. In the tabulation and the explanation below, as far as possible only raw food is being considered so that comparison will be possible. Further in many forms of cooking processes undertaken, the percentage may go up or go down depending upon the situation. In frying or roasting the percentage goes up due to loss of water content.
For uniformity, the percentage of the mineral is given for 100 grams of food.
(Data: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24)

Meats are zinc rich foods

Regular meat-eaters usually have their daily zinc requirements fulfilled.
Though the red meat products are rich sources, considering their fat profile they have to be consumed in moderation.
As for veal, its production is being discouraged all over the world, due to the inhumane conditions the calves are put into.
veal liver, raw12.02 mg
Lamb, domestic, foreshank, raw05.95
Lamb liver, raw04.66
beef liver, raw04.00
beef, raw03.58

Shellfish are zinc rich food sources

Shellfish, especially, oysters and clams are wonderful zinc sources having more than double the daily required amount.
Crustaceans like crabs and lobsters are also good zinc food sources.
Wild eastern oyster, raw39.30 mg
Alaska king crab, raw05.95
Northern lobster, raw03.53
Blue crab, raw03.54
Shrimp mixed species, raw00.97
Scallops, raw00.91

Poultry as zinc food sources

Among the poultry turkey meat and liver have higher zinc content and are good sources.
Turkey, liver, raw2.26 mg
Turkey meat, raw2.37
Duck meat, raw1.90
Chicken broilers, raw1.54
Whole raw fresh egg1.29

Fish as zinc food sources

Though fish do have zinc content, unlike red meat and poultry the quantity present is very moderate, and carp fish have higher percentage of 1.48.
Carp fish, raw1.48 mg
Herring fish, Atlantic, raw0.99
Trout fish, raw0.66
Swordfish, raw0.66
Salmon fish, raw0.64
Tuna fish, raw0.64
Herring fish, Pacific, raw0.53
Tilapia fish, raw0.33
Atlantic Cod fish, raw0.45
Pacific cod fish, raw0.31

Zinc in dairy foods

Dairy products contain moderate quantities of zinc, with the exception of Swiss cheese, which contains 30% of the daily requirement.
Swiss cheese4.36 mg
Plain skim milk yogurt0.97
Cottage cheese low fat0.38
Milk, whole, 3.25% milk fat0.37

Zinc in seeds and nuts

Watermelon seed kernels, sesame seed kernels and pumpkin seed kernels are very rich zinc food sources and meet more than 50% of daily its requirement per 100 gms.
Watermelon seed kernels, dried10.24 mg (rich)
Pumpkin seed kernels07.81 (rich)
Sesame seed kernels, dried06.73 (rich)
Dried pine nuts06.45
Cowpeas mature seeds, raw06.11
cashew nuts, raw05.78
Soybeans mature seeds, raw04.89
Lentils, raw04.78
Dried brazil nuts04.06
White beans mature seeds, raw03.67
Chickpeas mature seeds, raw03.43
Walnuts, dried03.37
Peanuts, raw03.27
Peas mature seeds, raw03.01
Lima beans mature seeds, raw02.83
Kidney beans mature seeds, raw02.79
Mung beans, mature seeds, raw02.68
Pigeon peas mature seeds, raw02.76
Cowpeas immature seeds, raw01.01

Zinc in cereals foods

Fortified ready-to-eat cereals are fortified to give 50% to more than 100% the DV of zinc per 100 grams depending upon the product mix and brand.
Cereals, though contain fairly good amounts of this mineral, have also phytates, which inhibit its absorption by binding to it.
Hence the bioavailability of this mineral from cereal and plant food is very poor when compared to non-vegetarian sources.
Fortified Cereals ready-to-eat15.00 gm (rich)
oats dry03.64
Oat bran, raw03.11
Wheat flour, whole-grain02.60
Barley flour or meal02.00
Cornmeal whole yellow01.82
white rice01.10

Miscellaneous zinc food sources

Chocolate has been found to contain nearly 70% of zinc requirement in 100gms. However its negative health risks like contributing to low bone density, migraine and calories have to be considered.
Shiitake mushrooms, also known as Black Forest mushrooms, are rich in Vitamin B complex and minerals.
Raw Shiitake mushrooms contain 1.03 mg of this mineral per 100 gms (1-46/5oz) and 100 gms fulfil nearly 7% of daily requirement.
Crimini mushrooms, also called as button mushrooms, are rich sources vitamin B complex and minerals like selenium, copper, zinc, manganese and phosphorus.
Raw Crimini mushrooms contain 1.1 mg of this mineral per 100gms (0.96mg/5oz) and 100 gms fulfil more than 6% DV.
Peanut butter is also one of rich food sources. Its rich fat content is its negative factor.
Unsweetened baking chocolate (rich)9.63 mg
Peanut butter2.78
Maple Syrup1.47
Mushrooms, shiitake, raw1.03
Mushrooms, Crimini, raw1.10
Asparagus, raw0.54
Spinach, raw0.53
Swiss Chard, raw0.36
Lettuce, raw0.18
Many zinc rich supplements are available in several acetate,  sulphate and gluconate forms and any deficit in intakes from zinc food sources can be compensated with these supplements.
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