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While it’s certainly possible to get zinc into your body via supplements, there are also several foods you can eat that provide a substantial amount of your recommended daily allowance, or RDA. According to the FDA, men need 11mg of zinc per day while women need 8mg per day. What foods have zinc? There are lots of them, in fact, and some may surprise you.
If you’re a fan of oysters, either raw or cooked, then you’re getting above and beyond your RDA for zinc. You’ll get 32mg in six raw oysters, which is 400% of your recommended daily allowance. Although it’s perfectly fine to eat your oysters, keep in mind that too much zinc can cause a variety of side effects, which include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Eating oysters no more than once or twice per week can help keep those side effects at bay.
You’ll get about 7mg of zinc in three ounces of braised beef. Aside from just the zinc, you’ll also get about half of your daily allowance of protein, loads of vitamin B12, which helps keep your blood and nerve cells healthy, and even riboflavin, which can help to alleviate PMS symptoms. However, the FDA says that you should limit your consumption of red meat like beef to one or two servings per week in order to avoid things like diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues.
The average amount of zinc in ¾ of a cup of fortified breakfast cereal is about 3.8mg, which is 25% of the RDA. There are many cereals from which to choose, but picking one with a heaping helping of iron and vitamin D will help you get the most bang for your buck. Adding a cup of low-fat milk to your bowl gives you yet another milligram of zinc, too, and if you add certain types of fruits with plenty of vitamin C, you’ll improve your body’s ability to absorb the iron in the cereal.
Spinach is often touted as one of the world’s healthiest foods, and for good reason. A one-cup serving contains 1.37mg of zinc, or about 12% of your daily allowance. It may not be as dense as other foods, but spinach also provides you with other healthy things, including a good amount of iron and dietary nitrates. These nitrates are also responsible for protecting your heart and boosting your immune function.
A serving of pumpkin seeds contains about 180 calories and 23% of your recommended daily allowance of zinc. They also contain heart-healthy magnesium and tryptophan, which is a natural mood stabilizer that promotes restful, rejuvenating sleep. It also contains plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital in the production and health of all of your body’s various tissues.
Although you can get zinc in your diet from a variety of sources, bear in mind that there are some two billion people in the world who have zinc deficiencies. What foods have zinc? Several, including some that you might eat every day. By combining these foods with a daily zinc supplement, you can help ensure that you’re getting the right amount of this essential mineral.