When we talk about essential minerals, Zinc plays a role in more than a hundred enzymatic reactions in the body, which is why consuming foods high in zinc is so important.
Though our body needs Zinc in very small amounts, However we need to consume foods that are rich in zinc every day in order to maintain our physical and mental functionality.
Zinc benefits come from its presence within all bodily tissue — it’s needed for healthy cell division, and it acts like an antioxidant, fighting free radical damage and slow downs the aging process.
Zinc deficiency is now known to be a major malnutrition problem worldwide, and inadequate intake of foods high in zinc is one of the main causes. According to the World Health Organization, millions of people throughout the world may have inadequate levels of zinc in their diets.
In fact, zinc deficiency is ranked the fifth-leading risk factor in causing disease worldwide. It occurs when you don’t have enough foods containing zinc in your diet, or you have trouble absorbing zinc from foods due to digestive disorders or very poor gut health.
The good news is that if people consume enough foods high in zinc, like the top ten sources listed below, they can prevent inadequate zinc levels and reap the benefits of this essential mineral.
Foods that are High in Zinc
Though there are many foods which has high content in this essential mineral, however we have listed down the top 10 foods which can be easily available in every home.
Normally people who consume non vegetarian foods automatically fulfill their zinc requirements, as most of the animal food like Lamb, beef, chicken and fish have rich amount of zinc.
Although there are plant-based zinc foods, they’re less absorbent because of their high content of phytic acid , which inhibits zinc absorption. Reports suggest that people who don’t eat meat or animal products, like people on a vegetarian or vegan diet, need up to 50 percent more zinc in their diets to absorb what the body needs.
However, the inhibitory effects of phytic acid on the absorption of zinc can be minimized with methods like soaking, heating, sprouting, fermenting and leavening. Research also shows that the absorption of zinc can be improved by using yeast-based breads and sourdough breads and sprouts.
The foods provided below helps you achieve optimal zinc levels if consume on daily basis at least 3 of them
Jaggery is rich source of zinc, consuming a pinch of jaggery after lunch and dinner helps in digestion and fulfils the zinc requirement of the body.
Many people in India consume Jaggery mixed with Ghee and Roti. (flat bread) kids love it. Replacing Jaggery with candies helps children in many ways. Next time your child ask for candy try giving him a piece or jaggery, I am sure he will love it.
In old Ayurveda tradition people used to have Tea made with jaggery. Sugar is harmful bur Jaggery is beneficial. during winter lot of sweets are made from Jaggery which are healthy and tasty
2. Pumpkin Seeds
Go to any grocery store in India and ask for 4 Magaz. they will provide you a mixture of 4 seeds and pumpkin seed is one among them.
4 Magaz (Pumpkin seed, Water melon seed, Sunflower seed, and Melon seeds ) are rich in zinc, potassium, vitamins and calcium
Pumpkin seeds are known to be a key food for maintaining health in post-menopausal women. Pumpkin seeds are also good for prostate health
Eating 4 Magaz regularly maintains your zinc level and are rich in amino acids which are also good for Alzheimer
3. Lentils (Daal)
Lentils, are staple diet in most of the countries. All types of lentils are good source of protein and zinc. Chickpeas are considered to be high in zinc and calcium. Humus is a Mediterranean diet made from chickpeas and olive oil. Which is considered to be most healthiest diet in middle east. Here is the recipe of Humus . I bet you will love it
4. Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds also known as Til are known for their health-promoting effects, as they are rich in polyphenols and micronutrients, including zinc. Black Seasame and White sesame have different befenits, and both should be part of your diet.
How to consume sesame seeds.
Sprinkle it on your salad or you can also grind it with water and add to your gravies. It makes the gravy tasty and healthy. Can also consume post lunch by mixing the same with fennel seeds.
5. Dry Fruits
Cashews &Almonds are rich in unsaturated fatty acids and are considered high in protein. promotes healthy brain function and have good amount of zinc to copper ratio, can be eaten along with milk or can be garnished on sweet dish or salads.
Almonds should be soaked in water over night and to be consumed early morning for maximum benefits.
Eating Dates on empty stomach provides rich source of Zinc to human body
6. Dairy products
Yogurt / Milk / cheese are cultured dairy products that serve as probiotic food and are good source of calcium . Good for bones and healthy growth
Ricotta cheese is one of the healthiest cheese options because it contains notable amounts of healthy fatty acids and micro nutrients, including zinc. Compared to many other cheeses, ricotta is also lower in sodium and saturated fat, and its considered a “fresh cheese” because it’s not aged.
7. Green leafy vegetables
May it be Spinach, fenugreek or any other leafy vegetable they are all good source of Zinc. Spinach contains special protective carotenoids that have been linked with decreasing the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and even more.
Fenugreek is good for diabetes and helps in lowering blood pressure. paste made from Fenugreek (Methi seeds) can be applied on scalp for the treatment of dandruff.
8. Non Vegetarian food
Chicken, Lamb, Fish and egg all these are good source of protein and Zinc.
In addition to the zinc present in chicken, it’s also a good source of B vitamins.
Fish is good source of omega acids along with zinc and considered to be most healthy among all non vegetarian foods.
try this Fish head curry recipe and get to know all its benefits
Avocado is considered as high nutrients value fruit specially when it comes to Zinc content. Avocado has numerous benefits and is great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium.
Also fruits like Banana, Guava, Berries and Kiwis contains good amount of Zinc.
Consuming food sources of zinc regularly will help to improve your health in the following ways:
- Keeps you young and Energetic: Zinc helps to fight oxidative stress and decrease your chances of developing a number of serious diseases. Research found that zinc supplementation significantly lowered infection rates in participants ages 55 to 87 years.
- Improves your vision: Zinc is needed to covert vitamin A into its active form in order to maintain proper vision. Adequate intake of foods high in zinc can help improve night vision and more. This is due to zinc’s ability to reduce oxidation and inflammation, which are associated with diminished eye health.
- Boost your immunity: The body needs zinc to activate T-cells, which are critical for proper immune function, and that is why people who are deficient in zinc tend to more susceptible to a variety of illnesses, including cough cold and influenza.
- Promotes quick healing: Zinc benefits the integrity of the skin and helps treat infections. Research shows that people who have delayed wound healing tend to have low levels of zinc.
- Improves Sperm quality: Zinc plays an important role in hormone production. It boosts the testosterone levels which is very crucial for men’s sexual performance. For women it helps in production of estrogen and progesterone. Zinc is also needed to balance insulin, the main hormone involved in the regulation of normal blood sugar.
- Promotes muscle growth and repair: Zinc plays a crucial role in cell division and cell growth, so it’s needed to maintain strength in the muscular and skeletal systems. Zinc also helps with the release of testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1, all of which build muscle mass and help you maintain a healthy metabolism.
- Aids in nutrient absorption: Zinc affects protein synthesis and is needed by the body to use amino acids from food. It’s also involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates from foods, which are some of the main sources of energy from the body. This is why a zinc deficiency can lead to low energy levels and contribute to adrenal or chronic fatigue.
- Promotes heart health: Zinc is needed to maintain the health of cells within the cardiovascular system, while also lowering inflammation and oxidative stress.
Tasty & Healthy Zinc rich recipes
To make sure that you consume enough zinc to avoid a deficiency and get all the benefits, eat at least one or two servings of foods with zinc every day. Here are some tasty and healthy recipes that will help to boost your zinc intake:
- Fish head curry recipe: Fish lovers will love this high nutrient recipe. people normally ignore or throwaway fish head, however after watching this video you will never throw Fish head and will relish the fish head curry.
- Mango Chili Dip This recipe calls for three zinc foods: Green Chili, Mango and Nuts . This Dip is so tasty that you will love it with bread, Rice or just part of your regular salad.
- Garlic Shoots : Check out home grown natural Garlic shoots, the video shows how to grow fresh green garlic shoots which is very rich in Zinc. This tasty garlic dish offers moderate levels of naturally occurring zinc, Garlic is also a great food for detox that contains high levels of manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C and selenium. … A 7 ounce serving contains about 2.8mg of zinc
Lets conclude our thoughts on Foods High in Zinc
- Dont Ignore foods which are high in Zinc. It helps you maintain physical and mental strength. Zinc is available in most of the foods which are easily available. Consume Zinc in moderate amount and enjoy all the benefits of Zinc mentioned above.
- Zinc deficiency is now known to be an important malnutrition problem worldwide, and inadequate intake of zinc foods is one of the main causes of many diseases.
- Eating enough zinc foods boosts your eye health, reduces inflammation, fights stress, keeps your heart and skin healthy, promotes muscle growth and helps balance your hormones.