The mineral zinc can be found throughout the human body. It helps the immune system and is essential for taste and smell. Zinc also plays an important role for growth and development of babies, children and pregnant women. The body does not store zinc, so a daily intake is needed to maintain proper levels for optimum health.
RELATED: Top 10 Foods Highest in Zinc
Finding zinc.The largest traces of zinc are found in high-protein foods such as meats. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), zinc can be found in nuts, legumes and whole grains as well, but fruit is not a good source of zinc.
Zinc in fruit.Fruits may not be a good source of zinc “because the zinc in plant proteins is not as available for use by the body as the zinc from animal proteins,” reports UMMC. However, you can get some levels of zinc by eating the fruits highest in zinc. These include a variety of berries, dried fruits and some favorites you may already have in your refrigerator.
All zinc quantities are provided via the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) nutrient database.
- Apricots:One cup of fresh sliced apricots has .33 milligrams of zinc. However, 1 cup of dried, sulfured (uncooked) apricots contains .51 milligrams of zinc.
- Avocados:The avocado is a fruit; it’s actually a seeded berry and is a good choice if you are looking for some added zinc. One cup of cubed avocado has .96 milligrams of zinc.
- Bananas:The banana is a popular source for potassium, but one extra-large banana measuring 9 inches or longer contains .23 milligrams of zinc as well.
- Blackberries:Delicious in cereal or over yogurt, 1 cup of fresh blackberries has .53 milligrams of zinc.
- Dates:Eating three Medjool dates provides your body with .32 milligrams of zinc.
- Kiwi:Grab a few of these hairy little fruits the next time you are at the store because 1 cup of sliced kiwi has .25 milligrams of zinc.
- Prunes: Prunes can be a sweet treat, and 1 cup (pitted) prunes offers .77 milligrams of zinc to your daily intake.
- Raisins:Seedless raisins are a popular on-the-go snack. Easy to toss into a backpack, purse, lunchbox or pocket, 1 cup of raisins has .32 milligrams of zinc.
- Raspberries:Like blackberries, these little gems offer .52 milligrams of zinc per 1 cup serving. Enjoy over ice cream, yogurt, pudding or cereal or eat them plain as a quick snack.
- Strawberries:When berries are in season, be sure to grab strawberries, too. One cup has .23 milligrams of zinc.
The National Institutes of Healthreports that the recommended daily allowances (RDAs) of zinc for men ages 19 and older is 11 milligrams; for women ages 19 and older, the RDA is 8 milligrams. RDAs may vary depending on age, sex and medical conditions. Ask your physician about the amount of zinc your body needs.