Can Foods That Are High in Zinc Keep You Healthy?

By Anastasia Sims

You’ve probably heard the adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But, what if you could eat more than just an apple to stay healthy? What about foods that are high in zinc? In fact, several foods that are most likely already in your diet contain zinc, a nutrient that helps keep your immune system strong. 

Even though zinc it’s considered an essential nutrient, our bodies are not capable of producing or storing it. So to get all its effects, it’s suggested to have a constant supply of the nutrient in your diet. Zinc is so important that even some processed foods have a synthetic form of the nutrient. 

While President Trump recently mentioned that zinc might be effective in helping fight off coronavirus, there’s no medical evidence to prove his statement. However, according to a recent Forbes article, the University of Melbourne and other trials are attempting to understand if zinc has any link to combating COVID-19. Nonetheless, it’s more important than ever to do anything and everything to keep you and the ones around you healthy.

If you are looking to add some more zinc into your diet, here is a list of 5 foods that are high in zinc: 


Whether it’s a simple hamburger or a fancy steak, some cuts of beef have 4.5 mg of zinc which is about 30% of an estimated daily serving. Look for organic, grass-fed meat to avoid hidden dangers like harmful chemicals. 

Beans and Legumes 

Almost any kind bean or legume you can find at the grocery store has a percent of your daily value of zinc. From black-eyed peas to chickpeas, beans and legumes are a great source of zinc and protein. However, lentils have the largest percent of zinc per serving, with about 23%. Traditionally used as a meat substitute because of it’s high protein value, lentils make an easy substitute for turkey and beef in chili. Find an easy recipe for lentil chili here


Typically thought of a good probiotic for your gut, yogurt can have about 10% of a daily serving of zinc depending on the type and brand. Also, zinc has other properties other than boosting your immune system. The lactic acid and zinc together help treat acne and sun exposure. 


Spinach is known as a superfood so it’s no surprise that it has daily servings of vitamin C, antioxidants and zinc. It is best to consume spinach raw to get the most nutrients. 


Cashews have become more and more widely popular with the rise of alternative milks. Snacking on these nuts is a great source of zinc as well as copper and iron. For those who are lactose intolerant, cashews are used for a lot of dairy alternatives such as milk, heavy cream and even butter. To try your hand at cashew butter, find the recipe here

If all else fails or if you’re a picky eater, there are several zinc supplements available that should be taken daily. While in quarantine, it can be easy to forget about how diet can affect your health. However, eating healthily and getting normal nutrients can do a world of good for keeping up your personal health!


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