It has long been debated that vegetarians and vegans don’t get enough nutrients from their diets. But, as time progresses and knowledge grows, this is proving to be far from the truth. While it is true that many nutrients come from meat and dairy products, there are also many vegan-friendly alternatives that offer the same benefits. This is particularly the case for when it comes to zinc.
What Is Zinc?
Zinc is an essential mineral that contributes to the normal functioning of your body. It contributes to the normal functioning of your immune system, as well as healthy skin and hair. It is also an essential mineral during pregnancy, as it is required for the development of the reproductive system.
5 Plant-Based Foods That Contain Zinc
With the above information in mind, it is clear to see just how important it is to get your daily dose of zinc. Luckily, this can be done through diet alone. Vegetarians and vegans must pay close attention to the types of food that they eat to guarantee zinc absorption.
Nuts are full of protein and healthy fats. They are the perfect type of snack that alleviates cravings and leaves you feeling full. The great news for vegetarians and vegans is that nuts also contain zinc! This is particularly the case with cashews, which contain around 1.6mg of zinc in a 1oz serving.
Seeds also provide a great source of zinc. In terms of finding the best seeds for your zinc intake, you can expect to get 2.2mg of zinc from 1oz of pumpkin seeds and 1mg of zinc from a tablespoon of hemp seeds. Delicious!
If you follow a vegan diet, it’s highly likely that you’ve eaten legumes. From lentils right through to chickpeas, legumes are high in protein and provide an excellent source of minerals. This includes zinc!
Half a cup of chickpeas contains around 1.3mg of zinc. However, it’s important to note that the majority of legumes contain phytates, which affects how much zinc your body can absorb. The way in which you cook the legumes will help to reduce the number of phytates.
Tofu is an amazing ingredient made from soybeans. It has the power to completely transform a meat-free dish, adding texture and a whole lot of nutrients. Tofu is often seen as a meat alternative, and with 1.8mg of zinc in 4oz, it’s clear to see why!
The health benefits of oats have long been praised about; not just in vegan diets. Kickstarting your day with a bowl of oats will leave you feeling energised, reducing the temptation to snack in between meals.
In terms of zinc contents, a half-cup of oats contains around 1.5mg of zinc. Similarly to legumes, oats contain phytates, so pay attention to how you cook them if you wish to absorb as much zinc as possible.
You may benefit from taking zinc tablets if your diet doesn’t include any of the above foods. If you choose to take zinc tablets, never exceed the recommended daily dose and always monitor how your body reacts.