The age-old wisdom of having a nutritionally balanced diet still holds true. Having good amounts of minerals, vitamins, carbs, and protein is essential for regulating vital body functions. Zinc is one such mineral that is required by the body for Protein & DNA synthesis, boosting immunity, digestive functions, and aiding in overall growth & development. Since the body doesn’t naturally produce the mineral, it must be acquired by consuming zinc-containing foods. If you’re wondering which foods contain zinc, check out the list of zinc-rich foods that you can incorporate into your diet. Like with everything else, an excess of zinc in your body has detrimental effects, so balance is key.
The availability of options when it comes to zinc-rich foods in India is immense. Most of these foods might be easily available in your local supermarkets or on common online marketplaces. Take your pick from the list below of foods that you would like to be a part of your diet.
Red Meat is one of the best examples of foods rich in zinc. If you consume lamb, pork, or beef, your zinc levels are already taken care of. The zinc from red meat helps in developing muscle mass and boosting your overall immunity. It is recommended that you avoid consuming meat that is highly processed to avail full benefits. It is also important to note that eating too much red meat isn’t a great idea as it has also been linked to an increased risk of heart diseases.
Legumes are an excellent option of zinc-rich food for vegetarians or those who don’t eat meat too often. The spectrum of legumes includes chickpea, peanuts, lima beans, kidney beans, lentils, all of which are used in a variety of dishes in India. The zinc in legumes is known to contribute towards better digestive health. Apart from zinc, legumes are also protein-rich foods that can keep you fuller for a longer time.
Apart from having a long list of health benefits, milk is also popular as a zinc-containing food. The mineral in milk is present in a bioavailable form which aids in higher absorption of zinc by the body. High absorption helps in extracting maximum benefits such as better bone health and better immunity.
As if we did not already have enough reasons to have dark chocolate! Since it is a food rich in zinc, we have yet another legitimate reason to indulge. Although dark chocolate cannot be considered a primary dietary source of zinc, it does contain reasonable amounts of zinc. Eating dark chocolate in moderate quantities is often linked with better blood circulation and controlled blood pressure levels.
Avocado has earned a reputation of being synonymous with a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, it is not surprising that this fruit also finds itself in the list of zinc-rich foods. Apart from being loaded with essential nutrients, avocados are great for those seeking a healthy snacking option.
Popeye’s favourite snack is the one that can bring you a lot of health benefits too! Since it is one of the foods rich in zinc, spinach promotes improved neuro function and helps keep many neurodegenerative diseases at bay. It is also an iron-rich food and is touted as a good dietary option for people managing their weight.
Pumpkin seeds serve as a great option of zinc-rich foods for vegetarians, with major health benefits, especially for women’s health. Pumpkin seeds are known to help with menopause symptoms and maintain overall health. Additionally, they have also been linked with promoting better prostate health.
Nuts are generally good for your overall wellbeing, but when it comes to zinc-rich foods, almonds take the cake. Densely packed with vitamins and micronutrients, almonds are also well-known for their role in increasing cardiovascular health and as a healthy supplement in weight-loss diets.
Cashews are another zinc-rich food from the family of nuts. Rich in antioxidants, cashews are believed to help fight the early signs of several serious diseases. They are also a good snack to munch on if you are feeling hungry, as opposed to eating junk food. Plus, eating cashews can also help boost bone health.
Believe it or not, mushrooms are also a popular zinc-containing food. Mushrooms are found to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties, and combined with the presence of zinc, they help speed the process of healing certain types of wounds. As zinc is vital in the production of estrogen and testosterone, the consumption of mushrooms can also aid in better reproductive health.
Go ahead and add these zinc-rich foods to your diet!
Apart from the zinc-rich foods mentioned above, other foods that contain zinc include oysters, chicken, tofu, nuts, seeds, lentils, yogurt, oatmeal, whole grains, and eggs.
In general, vegetables aren’t excellent sources of zinc. However, some vegetables such as potatoes, green peas, spinach, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, beet greens, broccoli, okra, zucchini, contain zinc and can contribute to your daily value of zinc, if you are a vegetarian and don’t eat meat.
Fruits such as avocados, blackberries, pomegranates, raspberries, guavas, apricots, peaches, kiwifruit, and blueberries contain zinc.
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