Zinc strengthens the immune system, prevents colds and takes care of your hair, skin and nails and is an essential mineral for our body. Good news that we can find it in a multitude of foods! Here is our selection of eight of them to include in your daily diet.
At the top of the ranking of zinc-rich foods are oysters. Its contribution reaches 60 mg per 100 g of food.
The usual thing is to eat raw, simply accompanied by a few drops of lemon, but there are also other more innovative ways to prepare them, such as battered in corn flour and fried or pickled.
For every 100 g of liver, the contribution of zinc in the liver is around 7 mg. Of course, whenever we are talking about veal, as the guts of pork are not so rich in this mineral.
The liver is not one of the foods that has more followers. However, why do not you give one of your recipes a chance. The preparation of the liver onions is simple and the result spectacular.
Shellfish in general is a very good source of zinc. Among the molluscs, the clams stand out, which can contain up to 7 mg per 100 g. Another star seafood is crabs, which provide about 4.7 mg.
When cooking them, make sure they are in perfect condition. To do this, immerse them in salt water and wash them, those that are in poor condition will open.
4. Red meats
Among red meats, lean beef is the one that provides zinc with 6.2 g per 100 g, followed by pork.
Choose the leanest cuts to avoid the excessive presence of saturated fats. The vacuum, the sirloin, the counter and the butt of contra as well as the high or low loin are good choices.
5. Hazelnuts and almonds
Although the best sources of zinc are found in foods of animal origin, we can also resort to nuts such as hazelnuts or almonds to cover the necessary contribution of this mineral.
Cashews also contain zinc. Now, with these fruits, moderation is important, since 30 grams (18-20 seeds) contribute around 170 calories.
6. Chicken and turkey
Chicken or turkey breast fillets not only solve a quick, light and tasty dinner, they are also a remarkable source of zinc. Its contribution is around 5 g of zinc, almost half of the recommended daily amount for an adult (between 12 mg, men and 8 mg, women).
You can complete your lettuce salad with a few pieces of chicken or prepare some chicken brochettes with pepper, onion and tomato.
Among foods of animal origin, cheese could not be lacking as a source of zinc. Its contribution of 4 g per 100 g, make any cheese board a good option.
Of course, remember that, in general, it is a fairly caloric food so it is important to control their consumption. Choose less fatty versions, such as cottage cheese, fresh cheese or less cured, such as cheddar, feta or parmesan.
8. Oat flakes
Including oats in the daily diet not only benefits intestinal transit and regulates blood sugar levels, it is also a perfect ally of the immune system thanks to its contribution in zinc (3.5 mg/100 g).
It is usual to consume them at breakfast, but the options do not end there. You can prepare a spinach quiche with oatmeal or a green smoothie with oatmeal.
Why do we need zinc?
What do a plate of oysters, a liver steak or a handful of hazelnuts have in common? Apparently, not much. However, their nutritional composition reveals that they share a remarkable content in a micronutrient essential for the functioning of the organism, zinc.
To get an idea of its importance, here are some of the main functions that can be attributed to this mineral are:
- Involved in the formation and mineralization of bones and reproductive organs.
- Inhibits the production of a derivative of testosterone that, when it presents high levels, could increase the risk of prostate cancer
- Contributes to keep the arteries clean.
- Strengthens the immune system.
- Collaborate in the healing process of wounds.
- Prevents common diseases caused by viruses and bacteria (for example, the cold).
- Take care of the health of hair, skin and nails.
- Improves taste and smell.
On the other hand, the deficit of zinc can be the culprit of many of the evils that afflict us on a daily basis, such as lack of memory, fatigue or the tendency to catch cold.
In the article that you have just read, we have collected the eight foods richest in zinc that can not be missing in your diet to cover the recommended daily dose.
Zinc is great for fighting stress
Numerous studies relate the consumption of foods rich in zinc with the capacity of our body to cope with the effects that a stress situation triggers in the organism, including the weakening of the immune system.
- When we go through difficult moments that remain in time, our defenses suffer. That’s when zinc comes into play because, among its numerous and valuable functions, its role to maintain a strong immune system stands out.
- An insufficient level of zinc causes many disorders and symptoms related to stress, such as irritability, depression, impotence and low immunity.