Foods High in Zinc: Boosting Immune System and Overall Health

Updated on May 2nd, 2020
zinc rich foods

Zinc is one of the most essential minerals. It is involved in the functioning of over 300 enzymes and also supports vital body organs. Zinc helps in metabolizing nutrients, enriching the immune system, and even in repairing body tissues. It is also one of the most critical trace elements that play a role in cell growth, development, and differentiation (1).

An average adult male must take around 11 mg of zinc, while an average adult female around 11 mg per day. Breastfeeding women may need about 12 mg. Zinc deficiency can cause various complications, especially in children, it can lead to stunted growth, acute diarrhea, slow wound healing, and various other disorders. 

Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency

Zinc-deficiency may be caused due to a lack of proper nutrition or the body’s inability to absorb zinc. The symptoms mentioned below are a few of the signs that may say that you may be suffering from zinc deficiency. 

  • Weaker immune system
  • Weaker nails
  • Hair loss
  • Skin sores
  • Visionary or eye problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Psychological disorders

These may also be symptoms of other diseases, so make sure to check with the doctor for any signs of zinc deficiency. 

Zinc deficiency can be fixed within 3 to 4 months or even less. 

Zinc Rich Foods

Natural Foods high in zinc are the best and healthiest way to take it rather than depending on supplements. 

Below listed are some of the top natural sources that can fill the daily requirement of zinc in your body. 

Vegetables High in Zinc

1. Green Peas

Green peas

100g of green peas contains 1.2mg of zinc. 

Alongside zinc, these also contain decent amounts of carbs, fibers, vitamins A, K, & C, folate, manganese, iron, and phosphorus. They are also one of the excellent sources for proteins. 

Green peas also help in regulating blood sugar levels, digestion, and also may help in preventing diabetes, cardiac disorders, and some types of cancer. 

2. Chickpeas

100g of chickpea contains 1.5mg of zinc. 

Chickpeas are an excellent source for several essential vitamins, minerals, and fibers. They can also be a good source of protein for vegetarians. 

These also play a role in improving heart and mental health, promoting digestion, weight management, and also helps in lowering blood pressure. 

3. Shiitake Mushrooms

100g of shiitake mushrooms contain 1.3mg of zinc. 

Shiitake mushrooms vitamins, manganese, copper, niacin, and other minerals. 

These mushrooms are considered one of the healthiest zinc foods which alongside boosting the immune system, can also help in strengthening bones and exhibiting antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties. 

Zinc-rich Fruits

1. Avocados

100 grams of avocados contain 0.6mg of zinc. 

Besides, avocados are a superfood, meaning alongside enriching the body with zinc; they also exhibit various health benefits. They are an excellent source for vitamins B-6, C, E, & K, and riboflavin, folate, magnesium, and potassium. They also fuel the body with omega-3 fatty acids and beta-carotene. 

All these essential components of avocados along with zinc work together to promote the health of the heart, kidneys, liver, and other vital organs. They also lower cholesterol levels, relieve symptoms of arthritis, and improve overall health. 

2. Blackberries

100 grams of blackberries contain 0.5 mg of zinc. 

Alongside zinc, blackberries are also a rich source for vitamins, especially vitamin C. They are also a good source for vitamin K, fiber, and manganese. 

Blackberries play a vital role in supporting bone health, regulating blood sugar, enriching the brain, improving oral health, and also exhibiting excellent antioxidant properties. 

3. Pomegranate


100 grams of pomegranate contains around 0.4 mg grams of zinc. 

Although a little less in percentage, it can add to the daily value intake of zinc and also support health in various ways. They can also help a little in missing requirements of fiber and other nutrients. 

Pomegranate juice is known to improve mental health, memory, regulate blood pressure, support cardiac health, and digestion. Besides, these can also help in preventing diabetes, some types of cancer, arthritis, and also exhibit antiviral properties. 

Pomegranates can also help in improving endurance and sports performance. 

Other Good Sources of Zinc

Both meat and plant-based products can enrich the body with zinc. However, meat-based products are high in zinc in comparison to other food sources. 

1. Meat

Lamb, chicken and all the other types of meat are some of the excellent sources for zinc, which can also fulfill the regular requirement without depending on other sources. Most of these food types are also packed with protein and other nutrients, which can fill the major part of our daily requirements. 

Most of these meats reduce appetite, increase metabolism, promote fullness, and also support weight loss and help in retention of muscle mass. They also help in strengthening bones, muscles, and various other vital systems in the body.

2. Crabs


Crabs, especially Alaskan king crabs, can deliver up to 6.5 mg or 43 percent of daily zinc requirement. 

  • They are also rich in phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, and various other essential nutrients. 
  • These highly nutritious foods can support the health of bones & heart, improve immunity, increase circulation, and also detoxify the body. 
  • Lobster, shellfish, and most other types of seafood are also an excellent source of zinc. 
  • Nuts, whole grains, eggs, and dairy products are also some of the good sources for zinc. 


Zinc is one of the most vital trace elements. It helps in enriching various body functions. If you are suffering from any zinc deficiency-related disorders, it may mean that your body is not able to absorb zinc. In such cases, you can get a whole body check-up and fix the issue by consulting a physician.


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