We need it to grow, defend ourselves from infections or stimulate sexuality. However, it is easy for an improper diet to cause deficiencies in this mineral. These 6 foods help you get the zinc you need.

This mineral, although it is usually a great unknown, is very important for vitality. It provides energy, allows the senses to function properly, and contributes to development: that is why it is essential during pregnancy, lactation and childhood.

It strengthens the immune system, and that is why in recent times it has been under the spotlight for its potential to protect against coronavirus infections. Finally, it plays a key role in fertility and sexuality, in both men and women.




The oatmeal is one of the foods richest in zinc plant. An average serving of about 50 g covers 17% of the daily needs of this valuable nutrient. It is also very rich in unsaturated fats and minerals, including zinc.

In flakes it is the easiest way to consume, the cereal that provides more protein.

The flakes are ideal in the growth stage, they defend against infections and, due to their mucilage content, and they soften the digestive tract and promote digestion.

  • In addition to being eaten raw, with yogurts and vegetable drinks or muesli, they are used to thicken creams or sauces and to make vegetable meatballs.

Cashew nuts

Originally from Brazil, the cashew nuts were the Portuguese conquerors who brought them to India, which is today its largest producer. More than a fruit it is a seed.

With a very balanced nutritional composition, it is very rich in phosphorus, calcium, iron and especially zinc. Unroasted cashew nuts –without added fat– provides up to 4.8 mg of zinc per 100 grams. Although you will always find them peeled and toasted because a toxic substance in their peel, urushiol, can trigger severe allergic reactions.

  • It is an ideal snack to take between meals and an excellent nutritional resource, although it is difficult to find it raw or without salt.
  • The oil is used as a dressing in some countries.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds or seeds stand out for their content of unsaturated fatty acids, especially linoleic, and are used above all for the prevention of prostate problems and to combat intestinal parasites.

Another of its virtues is its richness in zinc, which reaches 7.5 mg per 100 g, the highest among seeds.

They are eaten fresh or dried, or toasted or ground, and the peel is previously removed.

They help to brighten up salads, but they also combine with rice, accompany various stews and are eaten mixed with honey or jam.


The beans are rich in iron, but also in zinc. A 60 g dry serving of this legume provides about 4 mg, which covers 14% of the daily zinc needs. 

Legumes constitute the great protein source of the vegetable kingdom. Its slowly absorbed carbohydrates are ideal when doing demanding physical work or to keep blood glucose levels stable.

  • In various stews, in an omelet or in soups and cooked, it is preferable to take them in moderate portions, chew them well and, if necessary, remove the skin to make them more digestive.

Whole meal bread

To the numerous nutritional advantages of whole meal bread, which maintains intact the contribution of fiber, vitamins and minerals of wheat, it is also necessary to add the superior presence of zinc, estimated at about 3.5 mg per 100 g of bread, which corresponds to 23 % of the daily needs of an adult.

Basic food of the Mediterranean diet, it should be present on the table and in the backpack. It is a good way to absorb high doses of this mineral and an excellent option for children’s breakfast.

Cured cheeses: more zinc than fresh ones

Those who follow an ovoclacteo vegetarian diet can opt for cured cheeses, such as Manchego or Parmesan, to obtain good doses of zinc.  A serving of about 50 g covers 13% of the daily needs of this mineral. Its low percentage in water explains that they provide more protein and calories than fresh ones.

On the other hand, the type of fats they contain are mostly saturated and therefore it is advisable to consume them in moderation.


The food richest in zinc is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans. And it is that oysters are the champions in zinc. They are not exactly affordable, due to their high cost, nor do they please everyone, but the truth is that no other food comes close to oysters in zinc content.

They provide no less than 52 mg of zinc per 100 g, which is more than triple the daily needs of this mineral (15 mg).


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