3 Foods that are High in Zinc

Zinc is good for the immune system and, for men, plays a role in producing testosterone. In this article, we'll tell you which foods are high in zinc.
3 Foods that are High in Zinc

Last update: 31 January, 2021

Zinc is a really important mineral, and although you only need a small amount of it, it’s important to make sure that you get enough every day. In this article, we’ll tell you about three foods that are high in zinc.

Zinc is a micronutrient, which means that it’s one of many vitamins and minerals needed to maintain homeostasis in the body. As you’ll see below, zinc is involved in a number of bodily processes, and not getting enough can lead to acute or even chronic illnesses.

Why is zinc important?

Regularly including a source of zinc in your diet can have a number of health benefits. For example, it plays an important role in regulating the immune system, as detailed here, in research published in Nutrients. Furthermore, like vitamin C, it can reduce the chance of developing infectious diseases.

As well as this, zinc is also required for testosterone production, and there’s scientific evidence that not consuming enough zinc will lead to a testosterone deficit.

For all of these reasons, it’s really crucial to make sure that you get your daily requirement of zinc to keep yourself healthy and strong.

Three foods that are high in zinc

Below, we’ve listed three foods that contain high levels of zinc:

1. Oysters

A plate of oysters and lemons.

Oysters are mollusks that are recognized to contain a lot of protein and many other micronutrients. One of them is zinc. However, they’re also prone to contain toxins that can sometimes cause vomiting and diarrhea.

For this reason, it’s always best to eat them cooked and avoid them raw. Maintaining good food hygiene habits is also important when handling them.

2. Liver

Organs and offal are often very nutritious and contain a lot of nutrients in very small portion sizes. In fact, they’re often recommended in cases of nutrient deficiency.

Within a balanced diet, this sort of food should be consumed in moderation. It’s always best to get your proteins and fats from fish rather than meats and offal. However, you can still include liver from time to time to enjoy all the nutritional benefits.

3. Clams

Another food that stands out for containing a lot of zinc is clams. Furthermore, clams are safer than oysters and you’re much less likely to get sick eating them.

They tend to be served cooked, which greatly reduces any risks. There are also a number of varieties and each one will have its own size and taste.

A plate of clams.

You can normally readily find these on the coast all year round, except for certain periods when the seas contain a lot of toxins and fishing is restricted. They also contain a lot of protein and other important nutrients such as iron and iodine.

Include foods that are high in zinc in your diet

It’s important to include zinc in your diet to stay in good health. So, we recommend that you try to include one of these foods in your diet. Of course, we’re not saying to eat them every day, or even every week, and there are plenty of other foods that contain significant amounts of zinc, such as red meats and cheeses.

But the important thing is to make sure that you get enough zinc to keep your immune system working properly. It’s also key for preventing infections diseases and other complex illnesses, which often develop as the result of a poorly functioning immune system.

As a final note, it’s worth mentioning again its role in testosterone production. This hormone isn’t just important for men, women need it too! However, in the case of men, low levels of zinc can be linked to infertility or a lack of libido, as well as other sexual health problems.

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  • Wessels I., Maywald M., Rink L., Zinc as a gatekeeper of immune function. Nutrients, 2017.
  • Zhang X., Guan T., Yang B., Chi Z., Wang ZY., et al., A novel role for zinc transporter 8 in the facilitation of zinc accumulation and regulation of testosterone synthesis in leydig cells of human and mouse testicles. Metabolism, 2018. 88: 40-50.