Foods that are high in zinc include poultry, beans, oysters, dairy products, fortified breakfast cereals, meat, nuts, seafood and whole grains, according to DoctorOz.com. Men are encouraged to obtain 11 milligrams of zinc daily from food sources, and women should strive to get 8 milligrams.
People who have a difficult time obtaining zinc from food sources have the option of taking over-the-counter supplements containing various forms of the mineral, including zinc sulfate, zinc gluconate and zinc acetate. It is not common for people to suffer with a zinc deficiency, but vegetarians, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding must make extra efforts to get more of the mineral in their diets. This is especially true for vegetarians, because their plant and grain food sources contain compounds that make it difficult for the body to absorb zinc. Pregnant and breastfeeding women require more of the mineral in their diets to meet the nutritional needs of developing fetuses and infants.
As of 2014, scientific studies suggest that zinc decreases the risk of developing prostate cancer in men. The evidence is not conclusive, but DoctorOz.com recommends that middle-aged and elderly men pay close attention to their zinc intake to maintain optimum health. To avoid suffering several health complications, men and women must both be careful not to exceed 40 milligrams of zinc daily.