test-Grocery Guide: 10 Foods Loaded with Zinc
Food & Nutrition
Grocery Guide: 10 Foods Loaded with Zinc
Swanson staff • June 14, 2022

10 Real Food Sources of Zinc

Calcium, magnesium, iron…everyone knows about these common minerals and why they’re important to maintaining a healthy body.

Zinc is another powerful mineral, but for many, its benefits and natural sources remain something of a mystery.

To help clear things, we've put together this grocery list of foods that will ensure your daily zinc intake is on par with your body’s needs.

But before we get started, let’s do a quick overview of the importance of zinc to your overall health.

Why Is Zinc Important to Your Health?

Zinc plays a bigger role in your health than most people realize. From helping to maintain immune health to assisting with basic protein synthesis, it’s an incredibly versatile mineral that's needed for more than 300 different enzymatic functions.1

Here are some of the specific ways in which zinc contributes to your overall wellness:

  • Immune Function—if your immune system isn’t functioning at its best, a diet low in zinc might be partially to blame. Studies have indicated that immune system function can suffer more in elderly individuals when they’re not eating enough zinc-rich foods. However, making the necessary dietary changes can also help reverse the problem within just a few weeks.2
  • Skin—zinc has also been linked to overall skin health.3
  • Metabolism—this essential mineral has also been linked to promoting a healthly metabolism, including supporting glucose response and even helping to maintain proper cholesterol levels already within the normal range.4

10 Foods Full of Zinc

While zinc supplements are plentiful and can be helpful to your overall wellness, getting appropriate daily amounts of zinc from natural food sources is best. Here's a list of 10 real foods that are rich in this essential mineral:

foods high in zinc1Beans: There seems to be no end to the list of bean benefits. Just one cup of garbanzo beans (great on salads) provides about 2.6 mg of zinc, plus protein!5

2Green Vegetables: Asparagus and spinach, in particular, are great vegetarian sources of zinc. They also happen to be incredibly versatile, which is why they’re near the top of our zinc foods list! One cup of spinach will provided 1.4 mg of zinc, while the same cup of asparagus delivers 1.1 mg.7

3Mushrooms: From shiitake to crimini, to plain white mushrooms, these friendly fungi (often known as the vegetarian’s meat) are great sources of zinc, with one cup of sliced mushrooms offering .36 mg of the mineral.6

4Cocoa Powder: Good news for everyone: dark cocoa powder is super high in zinc. Just 100 g of coca powder serves up a whopping 3.5 mg of zinc!8

5Nuts: Nuts are one of Mother Nature’s healthiest all-around snacks, full of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals (including zinc). For example, 1 oz of cashews will provide 1.6 mg of zinc, while 1 oz of tasty almonds can offer .9 mg of zinc.5

6Oysters: For the pescatarians and omnivores in the group, oysters are great sources of natural dietary zinc. Even a single oyster can deliver 5.5 mg of zinc!6

7Beef: Pound for pound, beef is the best bet for meat eaters when it comes to upping your zinc intake. Three ounces serve up 8.44 mg of this crucial mineral.9

8Lamb: Not far behind beef, lamb serves up 3.4 mg of zinc per 3 oz serving.10

9Poultry: Chicken and turkey don’t pack quite as much zinc as lamb or beef, but if you opt for the dark meat instead of the white, you'll be glad to know that one cup of skinless chicken boasts 2.13 mg of zinc.6

10Shrimp & Scallops: If seafood is your meat of choice, you’re still in luck. Per one 3 oz serving, scallops provides 1.3 mg of zinc.11 Simnilarly, six large shrimp contain 1.6 mg of zinc.12

Meat eater or not, you have plenty of options to boost your zinc intake. On your next trip to the grocery store, start your list with these items for the best in natural sources of zinc!

Always serving our customers,

Your friends at Swanson

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


1. Zinc Benefits. Healthline. Read source

2. Zinc: Immune Function. National Library of Medicine. Read source

3. Zinc: Skin Health. HealthLine. Read source

4. Zinc: Metabolism. National Library of Medicine. Read source

5. Foods High in Zinc. WebMD. Read source

6. Best Foods with Zinc. Everyday Health. Read source

7. Top 10 Foods for Zinc. MyFoodData. Read source

8. Mineral Essential. PubMed. Read source

9. Foods High in Zinc. WebMD. Read source

10. Benefits of Lamb. Capra. Read source

11. Are Sea Scallops Healthy? LiveStrong. Read source

12. Zinc. Young Men's Health. Read source