Plant-based foods high in zinc!

The richest common plant-based foods in zinc are legumes, whole-grains, seeds, and nuts.

But, if you follow a well-balanced diet, zinc supplements aren’t necessary. Zinc supplementation is necessary in severe zinc deficiency or health issues! In any case, a daily dosage up to 40 mg is considered pretty safe.

For instance, zinc deficiency can cause many diseases and hormonal imbalances, such as decreased testosterone levels, and sex drive. Moreover, zinc deficiency may lead to fatigue. Athletes and active people need high amounts of zinc.

According to the World Health Organization, lean red meat, whole-grain cereals, pulses, and legumes provide the highest concentrations of zinc.[1]

Whole-grains are among the best plant-based sources of zinc

Whole oats, wheat, rice, barley, and quinoa are the highest cereals in zinc:

  • Oats have 3.64 mg of zinc per 100g, or 33% of the Daily Value (DV).
  • Wheat has 1.19 mg or 11% DV
  • Rice has 0.78 mg or 7% DV
  • Barley has 0.99 mg or 9% DV
  • Quinoa has 1.09 mg or 10% DV

Legumes are pretty rich in zinc

Certainly, legumes are among the healthiest foods you can eat. They’re particularly high in protein, fiber, and healthy carbs. Legumes are good for weight loss.

Legumes are excellent vegan sources of zinc:

  • Lentils have 3.27 mg, 30% DV
  • Lupins have 4.75 mg, 43% DV
  • Black beans have 3.65 mg, 33% DV
  • Soybeans have 4.89 mg, 44% DV
  • Lima beans have 2.83 mg, 25% DV
  • Red kidney beans have 2.79 mg, 25% DV
  • Chickpeas have 2.76 mg, 25% DV
  • Green peas have 1.24 mg, 11% DV
  • Fava beans have1 mg, 9% DV

You can combine beans with cereals in order to “create” a complete plant-based protein which builds muscle mass. For instance, eat lentils with rice for a high-quality protein meal.

Seeds & nuts are high in zinc

You can increase the daily zinc intake by eating a handful of seeds and nuts a day! Common seeds rich in zinc are:

  • Sesame seeds, 6.73 mg per 100g, 93% DV
  • Sunflower seeds, 5.29 mg per 100g, 48% DV
  • Pumpkin or squash seeds, 7.46 mg per 100g, 67% DV
  • Hemp seeds, 9.9 mg per 100g, 90% DV
  • Chia seeds, 4.58 mg per 100g, 41% DV
  • Flax seeds, 4.34 mg per 100g, 39% DV
  • Dry watermelon seed kernels, 10.24 mg per 100g, 93% DV
  • Spices, cumin seed, 4.8 mg per 100g, 43% DV
  • Spices, dill seed, 5.2 mg per 100g, 47% DV
  • Spices, fennel seed 3.7 mg per 100g, 33% DV

In addition, most nuts are great plant-based dietary sources of zinc:

  • Almonds, 3.12 mg per 100g, 28% DV
  • Walnuts, 3.09 mg per 100g, 28% DV
  • Brazil nuts, 4.06 mg per 100g, 37% DV
  • Hazelnuts, 2.45 mg per 100g, 22% DV
  • Peanuts, 2.77 mg per 100g, 25% DV
  • Pecans, 4.53 mg per 100g, 41% DV
  • Pistachios, 2.34 mg per 100g, 21% DV
  • Macadamia, 1.3 mg per 100g, 11% DV
  • Chestnuts, 0.59 mg per 100g, 3% DV

Other common foods containing zinc

Dark chocolate contains some zinc. Prefer 85% dark chocolate. It has the highest zinc content:

  • Chocolate, 45-59%, 2.01 mg of zinc per 100g
  • Chocolate, 60-69%, 2.65 mg of zinc per 100g
  • Chocolate, 70-85%, 3.31 mg of zinc per 100g

Bananas and potatoes contain adequate amounts of zinc as well!