Common sources of zinc in the diet

Guest Post by Charlotte Walker

Zinc is undoubtedly a vital element within our bodies, as it helps to make new cells and enzymes and helps us to process the fat, protein and carbohydrates in our foods. Whilst zinc can also be found in the environment, in today’s blog post, we investigate the most common sources of zinc in the diet.

Zinc can be found in a great concentration in oysters, which depending on their variety and type, provide some 16-182mg of zinc for each 100g serving. This is 106%-1213% of your zinc RDA. The Steamed Wild Eastern Oyster has a particularly high concentration, providing 182 mg of zinc per 100g serving.

 Liver is another great meat source of zinc. Veal liver is an especially rich source, providing some 12mg per 100g serving, which accounts for 80% of your RDA. Another great source is poultry. About 10mg – or 66% RDA – of zinc can be found in low fat beef shoulder, chuck and shank, whilst each 100g serving of lamb provides between 4.2-8.7mg of zinc – which is 28%-58% RDA. Zinc can also be found in shellfish.

Dairy products
Zinc can be found in milk and cheese. Elsewhere in your fridge, eggs are another great source of the element.

Cereal products
There are also many cereal products that contain zinc, such as wheat germ, which can be sprinkled on top of a wide range of foods such as rice, steamed vegetables or salads. 17mg or 113% RDA of zinc can be found in a 100g serving of toasted wheat germ, whilst the same amount of crude, untoasted wheat germ provides 80% of your zinc RDA – or 12mg.

Seeds and nuts
There are many seeds and nuts that contain plenty of zinc. These include sesame products, of which a 100g serving provides about 10mg of zinc, or 67% RDA. The same serving of whole sesame seeds, meanwhile, provides 7.8mg or 52% RDA. About 10mg of zinc, or 67% RDA, can be found in a 100g serving of pumpkin and squash seeds, whilst the same amount can be found in dried watermelon seeds.

Peanuts are also a source of zinc, with 100g of oil roasted and dry roasted peanuts providing 6.6mg (44% RDA) and 3.3mg (22% RDA) respectively.

By following our advice on the various sources of zinc and using it to ensure a varied and balanced diet, you shouldn’t struggle to get enough zinc into your body each day.

Author Bio
Working closely with Holland & Barrett’s resident Nutritionist Kate Butler, Charlotte Walker writes for Holland & Barrett on a range of health and fitness related topics; including the role that different minerals like zinc play in the fitness of the body.