What Are The Best Foods That Are High In Zinc?

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Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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What are the best foods that are high in zinc? Some of the best sources of zinc are meat, dark chocolate, and different types of dairy products. Adding zinc daily to your regular diet is essential for your overall health. Many North Americans don’t get enough zinc in their diet, so they are deficient in that important mineral.

What are the best foods that are high in zinc?  Photo credit: iStock-piotr_malczyk

These are the types of people that are at high risk for zinc deficiency:

  • Older adults
  • Children
  • Pregnant women
  • Women that are breastfeeding

One of the reasons why vegetarians and vegans are deficient in zinc is because they don’t eat red meat. Red meat is a major source of zinc, and the types of red meats are beef, lamb, pork, steak, etc.


A 3.5 ounce of beef contains 4.79 mg of zinc which is 43.5% of the Daily value for men and 59.9% of the daily value for women. One serving provides 176 calories, 20 grams of protein and 10 grams of fat. Some of the important nutrients it has are iron, B vitamins and creatine.

It is important to be mindful when eating red meat within moderation. Eating enormous amounts of meat is linked to heart disease and other types of cancers.


Eating seeds regularly can help increase your zinc intake. 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds contain about 27% of the daily value for zinc for and 37% of the daily value for women for zinc. Some of the nutrients it contains are fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and other minerals.

If you eat these as part of a balanced diet it can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.

What are the best foods that are high in zinc? 


Consuming nuts as part of your regular diet can help increase your daily zinc intake. Nuts can be cashews, peanuts, almonds, etc. One ounce serving of nuts contains 14.9% of the daily value for men and 20.5% of the daily value for women for zinc. Research studies have shown that eating nuts regularly can reduce the risk of heart disease.

There are also studies that show that people who eat nuts regularly live longer than people who don’t.

Dairy Products

If you consume dairy products like cheese or milk it contains a good amount of zinc. One ounce of cheddar cheese contributes to 9.5% of daily value of zinc for men and 13.1% of daily value for women. One single cup of whole milk contains 9.1% of the daily value for men for zinc and 12.5% of the daily value for zinc for women.


Eggs contain a good moderate amount of zinc. One large egg contains 4.8% of the Daily value and 6.6% of the daily value for women. The nutrient effects of one large egg are: 77.5 calories, 6.3 grams of protein and 5.3 grams of healthy fat.

Dark Chocolate

A 3.5-ounce bar of dark chocolate contains 3.31 mg of zinc. 30.1% of the daily value is for men and 41.4% of the daily value for women for zinc. One 3.5-ounce bar has 24 grams of sugar and is 598 calories.

The Bottom Line is zinc is an important mineral that your body needs and there are plenty of foods you can eat to obtain your zinc nutrients. Those foods are eggs, dark chocolate, beef, seeds, dairy products like cheese or milk.

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