Which Foods Contain Zinc?
1) Oysters: They vary, but in general, oysters provide 16-182mg of zinc per 100g serving; or 110%-1200% of the RDA. The best bang for your oyster dollar is the Steamed Wild Eastern Oyster, providing 182mg of zinc per 100g serving, or 76mg (509% RDA) in 6 oysters, and 154mg (1029% RDA) in a 3 ounce serving.
2) Toasted Wheat Germ: Good old-fashioned toasted wheat germ is loaded with zinc: 17mg (112% RDA) of zinc per 100g serving, or 19mg (126% RDA) per cup, and 1.2mg (8% RDA) in a single tablespoon. Choose toasted over raw wheat germ, packed in jars. Wheat germ is delicious and to sprinkle on top of almost any food, even salads, rice, or steamed vegetables—or add to any recipe.
3) Veal Liver: Veal liver has the most zinc with 12mg per 100g serving accounting for 81% of the RDA, (or 8.98mg of zinc (60% RDA) in an 80g cooked slice of liver.)
4) Sesame Seeds and Tahini (Sesame Butter): Sesame contains about 10mg of zinc per 100g serving (70% RDA). Sesame flour can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in cakes and breads. Tahini is commonly found in hummus (chickpea spread) and will provide 4.6mg (31% RDA) of zinc per 100g serving, 0.7mg (5% RDA) per tablespoon. Whole sesame seeds provide 7.8mg/100g (52% RDA), 11mg (74% RDA) per cup, and 0.7mg (5% RDA) per tablespoon.
5) Low Fat Roast Beef: Low fat beef shoulder, shank, and chuck all contain about 10mg (70% RDA) of zinc per 100g serving, 18mg (119% RDA) per pound, and 9mg (59% RDA) in a 3 oz serving.
6) Roasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds: Pumpkin and squash seeds contain about 10mg (70% RDA) of zinc per 100g serving, 6.6mg (59% RDA) per cup, and 3mg (19% RDA) per ounce (~85 seeds). Often found in specialty stores, you can also save and oven-roast your own from pumpkins or squash in autumn.
7) Dried Watermelon Seeds: Like pumpkins and squash, watermelon seeds contain a surprising amount of zinc. Often found in specialty stores, you can save them from your summertime watermelons. Dried watermelon seeds provide 10mg (70% RDA) of zinc per 100g serving, 11mg (74 %RDA) per cup, and 3mg (19% RDA) per ounce.
8) Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder: The list of health benefits of chocolate continues to impress! Unsweetened baking chocolate provides 9.6mg (64% RDA) of zinc per 100g serving (most bars are 50-100 grams). Cocoa powder will provide 6.8mg (45% RDA) per 100g, or 5.4mg (39% RDA) per cup, 0.3mg (2% RDA) per tablespoon. Most milk chocolates provide around 2.3mg (15% RDA) per 100g serving or 1mg (7% RDA) per bar. Enjoy!
9) Lamb (Mutton): Lamb provides between 4.2-8.7mg of zinc per 100g serving (28%-58% RDA) depending on cut. That is up to 7.4mg (49% RDA) in a 3 ounce serving (85 grams).
10) Peanuts: Peanuts are a super source of zinc, 100 grams of oil roasted peanuts provide 6.6mg (44% RDA) of zinc, or 8.8mg (59% RDA) in 1 cup chopped, 1.9mg (12% RDA) per oz (39 peanuts). Dry roasted peanuts provide half as much zinc at 3.3mg (22% RDA) per 100 gram serving, or 4.8mg (32% RDA) per cup, and 1mg (6% RDA) per oz.
High risk groups for zinc deficiency are: alcoholics, vegetarians, pregnant and lactating women, older infants exclusively breastfed, people with sickle cell disease, people with gastrointestinal and other diseases, people consuming high doses of iron supplements and people taking diuretics. If you fit into one of these categories, you should really consider including a zinc supplement in your daily routine.
In addition to ear health, zinc is beneficial for a healthy immune system; thought to help with common cold symptoms; help with the healing of cuts and wounds, and healthy skin; and helps to prevent and reduce the potential for age-related eye damage. Like ginkgo biloba, zinc is also a powerful antioxidant, scouring toxins from the body.