When it comes to zinc, meat is an excellent source of this essential mineral. Red meat is particularly rich in zinc, but all types of meat, including beef, lamb, and pork, contain significant amounts of this nutrient. Beef, pork, and chicken are not only packed with protein, but they also provide a decent serving of zinc. For the most nutritious cuts, choose lean meats such as 90 percent lean beef, pork tenderloin and boneless chicken breasts, according to the USDA.
Just 1 cup of minced, roasted, skinless chicken breast has 2.13 mg of zinc, according to the USDA. This makes chicken a great source of this essential mineral. Other meats that are high in zinc include turkey, duck, and goose. Lamb is also a good source of zinc; one 3-ounce serving contains 2.2 mg of zinc.
Fish is another excellent source of zinc. Oysters are particularly high in zinc; one 3-ounce serving contains a whopping 8 mg of zinc. Other fish that are high in zinc include salmon, tuna, and sardines. Shellfish such as crab and lobster are also good sources of zinc.
Vegetarians can get their daily dose of zinc from plant-based sources such as legumes, nuts, and seeds. Soybeans are particularly high in zinc; one cup contains 2.3 mg of zinc. Other legumes that are high in zinc include kidney beans, chickpeas, and lentils. Nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds and cashews are also good sources of this mineral.
Whole grains are another good source of zinc; one cup of cooked quinoa contains 1.1 mg of zinc. Other whole grains that are high in zinc include oats, barley, and brown rice.