Dietary sources

Human Nutrition 3(3+0)
Lesson 42 : Zinc

Dietary sources

High-protein foods contain high amounts of zinc. Good food sources for vegetarians include dairy products (milk, curd, and yoghurt), beans and lentils, peanuts, groundnuts, peanut butter, fortified breakfast cereals, and wholegrain cereals. Pumpkin seeds are considered to be one of the most concentrated vegetarian dietary sources of zinc.

Dietary fibre (phytates, found in cereals, legumes) can interfere with the body's ability to absorb zinc. Zinc is best absorbed by the body when taken with a meal that contains protein.

Red meat and poultry also provide zinc in good amounts. Zinc absorption is greater from a diet high in animal protein than a diet rich in plant proteins. Thus, fruits and vegetables are not good sources of zinc.

Cooking helps to reduce the adverse effects of both phytic acid and dietary fibre on zinc absorption.

Food sources


Rich sources

Oysters and herring

70 – 150

Good sources

Cereals & millets
Pulses, nuts & oilseeds
Liver, meat, fish, egg

2 – 6
3 – 6
3 - 10

Rich sources
Good sources
Last modified: Tuesday, 14 February 2012, 12:47 PM