A wide variety of foods contain zinc. Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, certain types of seafood (such as crab and lobster), whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products.
Phytates—which are present in whole-grain breads, cereals, legumes, and other foods—bind zinc and inhibit its absorption. Thus, the bioavailability of zinc from grains and plant foods is lower than that from animal foods, although many grain- and plant-based foods are still good sources of zinc.
|Food||Milligrams (mg) per serving|
|Oysters, 6 medium||76.7|
|Beef shanks, cooked, 3 ounces||8.9|
|Crab, Alaska king, cooked, 3 ounces||6.5|
|Pork shoulder, cooked, 3 ounces||4.2|
|Breakfast cereal fortified with 25% of the DV for zinc, ¾ cup serving||3.8|
|Lobster, cooked, 3 ounces||3.4|
|Chicken leg, roasted, 1 leg||2.7|
|Pork tenderloin, cooked, 3 ounces||2.5|
|Baked beans, canned, ½ cup||1.7|
|Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce||1.6|
|Yogurt, fruit, low fat, 1 cup||1.6|
|Raisin bran cereal, ¾ cup||1.5–10.8|
|Chickpeas, ½ cup||1.3|
|Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce||1.2|
|Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce||1.0|
|Milk, whole, 1 cup||1.0|
|Chicken breast, roasted, ½ breast with skin removed||0.9|
|Cheese, cheddar or mozzarella, 1 ounce||0.9|
|Kidney beans, cooked, ½ cup||0.8|
Source: Office of Dietary Supplements, available at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/#h3
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database Web site lists the nutrient content of many foods and provides a comprehensive list of foods containing zinc.