What Foods Contain Zinc?


Quick Answer

Foods that contain zinc include grass-fed beef, lamb, oysters, scallops, sesame and pumpkin seeds, lentils, garbanzo beans, spinach, asparagus and cashews. Other foods rich in zinc are turkey; quinoa, which is a type of grain; crimini and shiitake mushrooms; and shrimp.

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Full Answer

Zinc, an elemental mineral, is crucial to health because it enables important enzymes in the body to function. Indeed, more than 300 enzymes need zinc to work properly, and a zinc deficiency can have detrimental effects on the health of the skin as well as the health of the reproductive, sensory and immune systems. Young people who don't get enough zinc can get flare-ups of acne as well as rashes. The impairment of the immune system due to zinc deficiency is especially harmful for elderly people. A severe deficiency of zinc can lead to a loss of appetite and an inability to taste food.

Zinc also supports the health of the eyes because it works with vitamin A to allow the eyes to sense light. It also supports male fertility.

Though no one food is an especially abundant source of zinc, a person can eat a variety of foods to get the daily value of this mineral. Zinc deficiency in the United States is rare.

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