Zinc in the Diet
What food source is the nutrient found in?
The best sources of zinc include animal foods such as
oysters, extra-lean meats, poultry, fish, and organ meats. Dairy products
and eggs supply zinc in smaller amounts.
Whole-grain products, wheat germ, black-eyed peas,
beans, nuts, seeds, and fermented soybean paste (miso) also contain
zinc. However, the form of the mineral that is found in these foods cannot
be used as well by the body. The zinc in
is better absorbed in infants than that found in infant formulas or cow's milk.
Specific sources of zinc include:
oysters (6 medium) = 49.8 milligrams (mg)
beef, ground lean (3 ounces) = 4.6 mg
turkey, dark meat (3 ounces) = 3.8 mg
raisin bran (1 cup) = 3.0 mg
milk, lowfat (1 cup) = 1 mg
almonds (1 ounce) = 1 mg
How does the nutrient affect the body?
Zinc is required for many of the body's functions. It makes
up part of more than 200 enzymes in the body. Enzymes are proteins
that enable certain chemical reactions to take place in the body.
Zinc is crucial for proper growth. It promotes cell reproduction and
tissue growth and repair. This is needed for wound healing. Zinc
is also key to the proper working of the immune system.
Zinc has many other functions, as well. It helps to:
in the liver
assists in the making of
aids in the proper use of insulin to help control blood glucose levels
helps in normal taste perception
Zinc also helps the body turn
Taking the recommended amounts of zinc may aid in the
metabolism of vitamin D
This could help reduce bone loss, such as
Zinc also assists in moving vitamin A
through the blood.