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5 min

The Best Zinc-Rich Foods to Support Immunity

Zinc is an essential trace element for our body, but our body does not have the capacity to produce it naturally. It is therefore essential to find food sources rich in zinc.

Luckily for us, this trace element is hidden in many everyday foods . But which ones exactly?

Foods rich in zinc, recipes (yummy!!), tips, we guide you step by step towards a plate full of zinc.

foods rich in zinc

I. The benefits of zinc

The body needs low doses of zinc to function properly.

So unless you are in deficit or have an increased need for zinc (in the event of winter problems or as a treatment for the beauty of the skin), a varied diet can sometimes be enough to meet daily needs.

You don't know if you are suffering from a zinc deficiency? We wrote an article for you on this subject !

1) The role of zinc in the body

Zinc is involved in a large number of enzymatic reactions in the body, thus participating in many essential functions for our health.

It is important for:

  • Immune system ;

  • Growth and reproduction;

  • DNA synthesis;

  • The synthesis of proteins, notably keratin: it contributes to hair growth and the strength of nails;

  • The beauty of the skin: zinc also protects cells against oxidative stress responsible for premature aging of the skin;

  • Male fertility: it participates in the formation of sperm;

  • The hormonal system: it exerts a regulatory action on the hormones of the pituitary gland, conductor of the hormonal system;

  • Carbohydrate assimilation and blood sugar balance.

If you want to know everything about zinc, a complete guide awaits you right here .

2) Foods rich in zinc: Top immunity!

Zinc and immune cells work side by side in the fight against pathogenic elements. This precious trace element increases the activity of T and B lymphocytes (key cells of our immune system).

It therefore helps to regulate our immune system, particularly in the face of infection.

Finally, zinc is known to have antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help prevent infections.

So this is a good reason to go for foods rich in zinc !

We recommend you

foods rich in zinc

Zinc Bisglycinate

Synergistic formula based on Zinc Bisglycinate and vitamin B6.

  • ✅ High absorption zinc
  • ✅ 15 mg of Zinc per capsule
  • ✅ Made in France
  • ✅ 4 months of treatment
See the product

II. The foods richest in zinc

The recommended dietary allowance of zinc for adults is approximately 8 to 15 mg per day.

To make the most of its benefits, we have prepared a list of the foods richest in zinc, including the quantities necessary to meet daily needs.

1) Seafood: oysters, shrimp, crabs, mussels

foods rich in zinc

Seafood is one of the best sources of zinc. Oysters are particularly rich and are at the top of the podium.

Would you like a good seafood platter?

Zinc content (mg / 100 g):

  • Oysters (about 6) = more than 22 mg

  • Crab = 7.5 mg

  • Shrimp = 2.8 mg

  • Mussels = 2.8 mg

2) Meats: beef, pork, lamb, chicken

foods rich in zinc

Meats are all excellent sources of zinc, especially red meat and offal.

Zinc content (mg / 100 g):

  • Calf liver = 12 mg

  • Beef = between 8 and 10 mg

  • Lamb shoulder = 4.7 mg

  • Chicken = 1.2 mg

3) Mushrooms, vegetables and legumes

foods rich in zinc

Legumes are good sources of zinc but rich in phytic acid, which reduces its absorption. We advise you to soak them for at least 8 hours before consuming them.

As for vegetables, we can count on spinach and heart of palm. Mushrooms, especially Shiitake (Japanese mushroom), provide an interesting supply of zinc.

Zinc content (mg / 100 g):

  • Mushroom (Shitake) = 7.6 mg

  • Coral lentils = 1.3 mg

  • Chickpeas = 1.1 mg

  • Heart of palm = 1.1 mg

  • White beans = 1.1 mg

  • Spinach = 0.8 mg

4) Oilseeds: nuts and seeds

foods rich in zinc

Rich in zinc, seeds and nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants. This is a good reason to bring them out as an aperitif!

Zinc content (mg / 100 g):

  • Pumpkin seeds = between 7 and 8 mg

  • Sesame seeds = 5.7 mg

  • Sunflower seeds = 3.8 mg

  • Cashew nuts = 5mg

  • Peanut = 3 mg

  • Brazil nuts = 4.1 mg

III. How to consume foods rich in zinc in your daily diet

Now that you know the foods richest in zinc, you are probably wondering how to include them in the diet on a regular and varied basis? So it’s time to move on to the most delicious part of our article!

1. Recipes based on foods rich in zinc

Here are some delicious, zinc-rich recipes you can try:

  • Lentil salad: mix cooked lentils, spinach, cherry tomatoes, red onions and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with a vinaigrette made from lemon, olive oil and mustard.

  • Chickpea Chicken Curry: Brown chicken, chickpeas, spinach and mushrooms in a pan with curry, coconut milk and spices. Serve with brown rice.

  • Seafood soup: Cook mixed seafood with vegetables such as onions, celery and carrots in chicken or vegetable broth. Season with herbs and spices.

Other desires? Endive and heart of palm salad, grilled chicken with sesame, quinoa salad with dried fruits and nuts… 😋

We recommend you

foods rich in zinc

Zinc Bisglycinate

Synergistic formula based on Zinc Bisglycinate and vitamin B6.

  • ✅ High absorption zinc
  • ✅ 15 mg of Zinc per capsule
  • ✅ Made in France
  • ✅ 4 months of treatment
See the product

2. Tips for including more zinc-rich foods in your diet

Include foods rich in zinc in your daily life without being a cordon bleu? It's possible !

For example, you can eat scrambled eggs in the morning (protein is highly recommended at the start of the day!). Take small handfuls of almonds or walnuts as a snack and replace traditional chips with a mix of oilseeds as an aperitif. Add pumpkin, chia, sesame or sunflower seeds to your salads, smoothies or yogurts.

Also consider including superfoods . This is the guarantee of stocking up on nutrients, micronutrients and trace elements (including our precious zinc!). You can easily add spirulina powder to your smoothies or salads, or goji berries to your yogurts and cereals.

Also consider planning your meals in advance to ensure you include enough zinc-rich foods. In addition, it saves precious time and avoids the “what shall we eat tonight?” 🙃

3. What about zinc supplementation?

If cooking really isn't your thing and you feel the need to consume zinc, consider supplementation. One option to consider is zinc bisglycinate , a form of zinc that is highly bioavailable and easily absorbed by the body.

Zinc bisglycinate is often recommended because it is gentle on the stomach, making it ideal, especially for people with digestive sensitivities. It can be taken in the form of a food supplement, respecting the doses recommended by a health professional.

However, it is important to note that zinc supplementation should not replace a balanced and varied diet. Foods naturally rich in zinc also offer a host of other health-promoting nutrients. So, if possible, try to incorporate zinc-rich foods into your daily diet and use zinc supplementation as a supplement if necessary.

Zinc at all meals

Zinc is therefore found quite easily on our plate but sometimes in limited quantities compared to daily needs.

So if you want to take care of your immune system naturally, we advise you to keep this list of foods rich in zinc on hand!

Get to your stove!

Eloise Dubois-Gaché - Naturopath

Naturopath and FENA certified

Thanks to her solid experience in different herbalists, Eloïse includes, if necessary, complete and precise advice in phytotherapy, aromatherapy, gemmotherapy and micro-nutrition when setting up a personalized and adapted lifestyle program to everyone.

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