Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a key role in various bodily functions, including immune function, wound healing, and DNA synthesis. While animal products are often rich sources of zinc, there are also several plant-based foods you may not be aware of.
Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are good sources of zinc. However, they also contain compounds called phytates that can reduce zinc absorption, so it's beneficial to include a variety of zinc-rich foods in your diet.
Nuts and Seeds: Pumpkin seeds (pepitas), sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pine nuts, and cashews are examples of nuts and seeds that provide zinc.
Whole Grains: Some whole grains, such as quinoa, wheat germ, and oats, contain zinc. Similar to legumes, they also contain phytates that can affect zinc absorption.
Tofu and Tempeh: These soy-based products are good sources of zinc.
Vegetables: Certain vegetables, such as mushrooms, kale, and peas, contain small amounts of zinc.
Fortified Foods: Some plant-based foods are fortified with zinc, such as certain breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast.
It's worth noting that the bioavailability of zinc from plant-based sources may be lower compared to animal sources due to the presence of phytates. To enhance zinc absorption, you can take steps such as soaking, sprouting, or fermenting grains and legumes. Additionally, consuming vitamin C-rich foods alongside zinc-containing foods can improve absorption. This is also the reason we we advise outr patients to consume their daily supplements (most often Metabolic Support Formula) with their meals.
If you have specific concerns about zinc intake or if you follow a strict plant-based diet, consider consulting with us to help ensure you meet your nutritional needs and test for if necessary.
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