Zinc is a mineral that can help your body maintain metabolism and regulate blood sugar. It also may help protect the immune system. The recommended daily intake of zinc for an average, healthy adult is 11 milligrams for a male and eight milligrams for a female. For people under the age of 18, the amount varies by age and sex.
The recommended intakes is the average amount of the mineral needed to “meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all healthy individuals,” according to the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements.
The list of the top 10 foods highest in zinc includes several protein sources as well as seeds and even a dairy product.
1. Oysters. Folklore says that oysters should be eaten only in the months containing an “r” in their name. However, the oyster is packed with nutrition, so why not eat it all year? It has more than 30 milligrams of zinc, plus vitamins A and C and less than 2 grams of fat. Six raw oysters contain 31.85 milligrams zinc, while cooked oysters have 26.64 milligrams. Be sure to consult your doctor before consumer any raw seafood, however.
2. Wheat germ. One cup of ready-to-eat wheat germ cereal contains 18.84 milligrams of zinc, as well as 32 grams of protein. However, one slice of wheat germ bread only has .27 milligrams.
3. Calf liver. A popular diner special often served with grilled onions, calf liver is a good source of dietary zinc. Three ounces of raw calf liver has 10.23 milligrams zinc plus 5.43 milligrams of iron.
4. Crab. Alaskan king crab has the most zinc found in crab with 6.48 milligrams in each 3-ounce serving. Dungeness crab comes in second with 4.65 milligrams, followed by blue crab with 3.24 milligrams.
5. Oat bran cereal. Bran is a good source of zinc with one cup of oat bran cereal containing 3.36 milligrams zinc. One cup of raw oat bran has 2.92 milligrams zinc, while a ready-to-eat cereal can have 11.25 milligrams zinc per one cup.
6. Venison. One 3-ounce venison loin, cut into a 1-inch steak and broiled, contains 3.09 milligrams of zinc plus 25.67 grams of protein.
7. Lamb. Lamb is a succulent meat, perfect for holiday meals but also weeknight dinners as kabobs. A 3-ounce serving of domestic lamb loin that has been cooked/broiled offers 3.06 milligrams zinc and 22 grams protein.
8. Pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. One ounce of whole roasted pumpkin seeds with or without salt contains 2.92 milligrams of zinc. The same amount of sesame seed kernels, toasted with or without salt, contains 2.9 milligrams of zinc. Tahini, made from sesame seeds, has only 1.31 milligrams.
9. Turkey and blue mussels. Turkey and blue mussels tie for the ninth position on the list. A 3.9-ounce serving of roasted turkey breast without any skin has 2.27 milligrams of zinc. Three ounces of cooked blue mussels has the same.
10. Low-fat yogurt. Low-fat yogurt has the highest amount of zinc from a dairy source. One 8-ounce container of plain, low-fat yogurt contains 2.02 milligrams of zinc, as well as the minerals calcium, potassium and fluoride.