Getting Enough Zinc in Your Diet: A Guide for Optimal Health

Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in many bodily functions, such as immune system health, wound healing, and cell growth. To ensure your body is getting the zinc it needs, it's important to make sure you're getting enough of this mineral in your diet. But how can you do that? One of the best sources of zinc is oysters. A 3-ounce serving contains 74 milligrams of zinc, which is five times more than the recommended daily intake.

Oysters can be eaten raw with lemon or baked Rockefeller-style with spinach, onion, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. However, it's important to note that oysters should not be eaten more than occasionally due to the risk of bacteria and contaminants, including heavy metals such as mercury and cadmium. In addition to oysters, there are other ways to make sure you're getting enough zinc in your diet. Eating foods that are high in zinc and pairing them with foods that are high in vitamin C can help increase the absorption of zinc.

Foods that are rich in zinc include beef, pork, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and dairy products. Vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and tomatoes. People who have problems with eating disorders, alcoholism and digestive diseases are at greater risk of suffering from true zinc deficiency. If you think you may be at risk for zinc deficiency, it's important to speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) to determine the best course of action for you.