11 Healthy Foods That Contain Zinc

peanuts in bowl and on a table

Zinc is found in cells throughout the body and it’s needed for the body immune system, these can be found naturally in some healthy foods and it’s needed to keep the body active and also needed for the senses of smell and taste, zinc is an important part of healthy nutrition and a deficiency can occur if there is not enough of it in your diet.

It plays lots of vital roles in the body it can’t be ignored.

This post summarizes all you need to know about zinc and the right healthy foods to provide you with it, zinc might also reduce the risk of falling sick and flu.

Diets high in zinc can help balance the body nutrient and help immeasurable in the functions of the organs of the body. We have gathered a couple of foods that provide the body with zinc and other vital reasons why zinc is needed for the proper function of the immune system.

What Does Zinc Do In The Body?

Zinc does many things in the body, the body needs nourishments like mineral, vitamins, protein however zinc is one of the most essential the body needs to prevent your immune system from getting bacteria into your system (1). The benefit of zinc in the body is viable.

  • Zinc supports and promotes cell functions
  •  Zinc helps in boosting the immune system
  • It helps estimate enzymes, molecules that make a chemical reaction happen and perform their duties in the body.
  • Promote wound healing
  • Zinc promotes the sense of smell, taste, and vision.
  • Zinc supports healthy growth and development

What Are The Signs Of Zinc Deficiency?

sick cold

Zinc deficiency happens when there is insufficient zinc to meet the needs of the body which usually occur from reduced dietary intake and can cause a malfunction in your immune system, it’s important that every human have enough zinc in their system, it is also important to watch out for a sign of zinc deficiency so as to combat it before it breaks down the immune system.

Here are some notable signs to watch out for (2).

  • Sores at the corner of the mouth or manifest as non-specific tongue coating
  • Zinc deficiency can lead to loss of appetite.
  • Severe zinc deficiency disturbs the sense of smell, taste, and vision
  • It can contribute to the increase in symptoms and severity of diarrhea
  • It may also impair and possibly prevent wound healing
  • Zinc deficiency may show as acne and other skin irritations.
  • Zinc deficiency can lead to slow growth especially in kids
  • When there is zinc deficiency, you tend to catch a cold easily and it can also lead to symptoms like rashes, sneezing and running nose which can be really uncomfortable and frequent.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Zinc Deficiency?

Zinc deficiency may be fast in breaking down organs within the body however it can be solved easily with the right amount of zinc to balance it,  the body needs varieties of mineral and vitamin to stay healthy, the right food and supplement can be taken to recover from zinc deficiency.

Zinc is a very essential nutrient for the body hence you can easily recover from it as it can be gotten from foods although in small quantity if the deficiency is severe then supplement need to be added.

Does Zinc Help You Sleep?

healthy sleep hacks

Research has shown that zinc can help you get a healthy night of sleep, it provides the brain with neurotransmitter function which is necessary for the metabolism of melatonin and is keep in providing hormone for healthy sleep (4), it is essential to your body in aiding it to rest properly, it triggers your brain to also relax while your sleep. The body can properly carry out the right function to make you active the next morning.

11 Best Foods That Are High In Zinc

The easiest and fastest ways you can balance the zinc in your body is through your diet, these foods also have other nutritious benefits and are an excellent source of antioxidants which neutralizes the effects of free radicals.

1. Spinach

spinach leaves

Spinach is one vegetable you might want to have included in your daily diet, it contains a high amount of zinc to keep the body active and also a source of antioxidant that protects the system against harmful bacteria, it lowers glucose level and prevents oxidative stress. Spinach is rich in vitamin K a nutrient needed for bone health, to get the best of spinach, it should be eaten in soups, pasta or added to a sandwich (5).

2. Egg Yolk

An egg is packed full of protein and antioxidants to keep the bone and body healthy, it contains 5.6 milligram of zinc and also other benefits to the body. 2 eggs in highly recommended for the body in a day, the yolk from the egg is the best one to consume, it contains antioxidants lutein, compounds that boost vision and make strenuous activities less tiresome (6).

3. Shellfish

image: Envato Elements

Shellfish might not be most favorite but it does contain the right nourishments like zinc, mineral, and vitamin which also makes shellfish a healthy choice if you are planning to lose weight, it contains low calorie (7). There are many kinds of shellfish like crabs, oyster, mussels and shrimps and each contains a good amount of zinc.

4. Legumes

Legumes are a healthy source of zinc and other nutrient-based antioxidants to the body and also boosts your immune system without adding any fat to you, legumes like lentils, chickpeas, and beans all provide the same amount of zinc, they are also an excellent source of insoluble fiber and helps get rid of constipation. Adding legumes to your dietary intake also reduces the risk of digestive disorder (8).

5. Peanuts

healthy foods that contain zinc

Peanuts are easy to consume thereby making adding them to your diet very easy, peanuts also act as a host to a number of healthy heart nutrients, it provides the body protection against harmful bacteria in the gut and helps boost the immune system. Frequent consumption of [peanuts reduces the risk of gallstone development in both men and women (9).

The best wat to eat peanuts is out of the shell and can be eaten as late-night snacks too,

6. Garlic

Garlic is highly beneficial to the heart, it contains a compound that exhibits biological effects, it is mostly ignored due to its bland taste but its benefit can still be gotten when added to soups and sandwiches, it can be eaten raw too if the taste can be ignored as it’s more efficient, you can also mash garlic and mix with honey to help cognitive decline. Garlic improves blood circulation and cholesterol level, it’s antioxidant also detoxifies the body (10).

7. Seeds

Seeds are primarily high in zinc and also a healthy addition to your diet, it keeps the body from bacteria and helps improve heart health, seeds like flaxseed, squash, all contain a high amount of zinc, it helps prevent metabolism breakdown. Seeds are healthy to the overall metabolism system, it prevents the nervous system to break down and also a perfect snack for losing weight and staying healthy (11).

8. Turkey


Turkey is pretty high in zinc, a cooked portion of it provides a sufficient amount of zinc to the body, other meats like chicken, lean beef and beef liver also provides the body with zinc and other beneficial nutrients. Turkey can be added with vegetable for maximum benefits, it helps provide the body with protein, mineral, and zinc to make you more active during the day and sleep fitfully at night (12).

9. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are hardly talked about in the nutrient department and thereby their benefits are hidden. Mushrooms provide your body with nutrients to help utilize oxygen effectively, it provides the body with iron and calcium for a healthy bone and well-fitted muscles. you can easily add mushroom to your vegetable salad or make soup with them (13).

Mushrooms are also part of foods that boost your Libido.

10.  Cocoa Powder

A large portion of zinc can be found in cocoa powder, it is also an excellent source of antioxidant to build the body immune system and enhance other organs of the body to function properly (14), cocoa powder is also rich in flavonoids which boosts immunity, sweetened or unsweetened cocoa powder can be taken in hot cereal, gray or protein shakes.

11. Cashew

Dish of Roasted Cashew Nuts

Apart from zinc cashews are rich in iron and copper which enhances blood circulation within the body, cashew serves a great purpose in and out of the body system, these nuts are a great replacement of animal protein and fats as it reduces the build of fats and cholesterol (15). Cashew can serve as a simple evening snack to get the zinc needed in your body.

These aforementioned foods consist of minimal calories and are considered healthy if you are on a diet plan.

Your diet is the fastest and easiest way to get your zinc deficiency on track however supplements can also be taken in place of these healthy zinc foods but it’s vital to talk to your doctor or nutritionist first to prescribe the needed zinc supplement before taking one. Hope this post has been helpful?

We would be happy to see your feedback in the comment box.


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