Health Topics

Foods Rich in Zinc Help Build a Healthy Immune System

Zinc is a mineral that helps maintain a healthy immune system and it can help kill viruses that infect cells. The recommended daily amount of zinc is 8 milligrams for women (11 milligrams during pregnancy) and 11 milligrams for men. Zinc deficiency can lead to a poor immune system, resulting in catching more colds and viruses. Eating a diet rich in zinc boosts your immune system and also helps with thyroid function, wound healing and vision.

The top 8 best foods high in zinc

1. Meat

Choose lean meats such as lean beef, pork tenderloin and boneless chicken breasts.

    2. Shellfish

    Oysters are the richest source of zinc. Alaskan crab is also a zinc-rich, shellfish option.

    3. Legumes

    Legumes are a vegetarian-friendly source of zinc. Chickpeas, lentils and beans are good sources of zinc and are also a good source of fiber and protein.

    4. Seeds

    Try adding pumpkin seeds to your salad or snack mix.

    5. Nuts

    Cashews and almonds are great sources of zinc. Nuts are also heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids and are a great snack. They're inexpensive, easy to store and rich in antioxidants.

    6. Dairy

    Greek yogurt, cheese and milk all contain zinc and also serve as great sources of calcium.

    7. Eggs

    Eggs are high in zinc, protein and other minerals such as choline and lutein - vital for brain function, eye health, pregnancy and fetal development.

    8. Whole Grains

    Choose whole grain breads and cereals.