Top 5 Zinc-Rich Foods To Boost Immunity

Find out how you can boost your immunity with zinc-rich foods.


With the deadly second wave of covid in India, we should be taking extra care of our body and boost immunity to fight any diseases. So if you are looking to boost your immunity to cut down the risks and infection include more zinc-rich foods in your diet. 

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Recommended daily intake of Zinc to boost immunity

We know that it is one of the important micronutrients for our bodies, most people, especially young children, teenagers, the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding are usually observed to be deficient in this common mineral.

As per the USA’s National Institute of Health, men must eat 11 mg of zinc daily, while for women it is 8 mg. However, if you are pregnant, you will need 11 mg of zinc and if you are breastfeeding it would be 12 mg.

Just like vitamin C, zinc plays an important role in improving your immune system, therefore reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Zinc is required by our body to activate over 300 enzymes, which help to strengthen our immune system, aid in cell division, cell growth, wound healing and synthesising proteins and DNA. Similar to protein, our body does not store zinc, so we need to eat enough every day to meet the recommended daily intake.

Following are some of the zinc-rich foods that you must include in your diet to boost immunity


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Animal-based foods contain the highest amount of zinc. Of all shellfish, Oyster is the best source of zinc. 1 oyster gives you 50 per cent of the recommended amount of zinc. Also, shellfish are low in calories and high in vitamin B12 and selenium and many other nutrients which will help boost immunity. Crab, shrimp, lobster, and mussels contain less zinc than oysters but can also be added to your diet.


Red meat and chicken are excellent sources of zinc mineral also packed with vitamin B12 and protein that will keep your nervous system healthy and also help in cell regeneration. However, animal-based food products are also high in cholesterol and fat, so watch how much you eat. You can also add eggs to your diet to increase your zinc intake.

Meat and poultry market combats plant-based movement, A.S.F. | 2020-01-16 |  Food Business News

100 grams of raw mutton- 4.8 mg of zinc

85 grams of chicken- 2.4 mg of zinc


Whenever you are craving something sweet have dark chocolate. The darker your chocolate, the better it is for your health. It contains a high amount of cocoa, which is a very good source of zinc and flavanol. Cocoa will help to manage blood pressure, improve blood flow and boost immunity. But make sure to not have more than 28 grams in a day.

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100-gram bar of 70–85% dark chocolate-3.3 mg of zinc


For vegetarians and vegans, you can have zinc-rich plant-based foods, including legumes in your diet will be a good option. Chickpeas, beans and lentils are loaded with zinc. The best thing about adding legumes to your diet is that it is low in calories and packed with healthy nutrients like protein, vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.

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164 gm of chickpeas- 2.5 mg zinc

100 gm of lentils- 4.78 mg to 1.27 mg of zinc

180 gm of kidney beans- 5.1 mg zinc


Very versatile pumpkin seeds and cashews are the most zinc-rich nut and seed that can be added to your diet. They can be added to your oatmeal, sprinkle some on top of your smoothie or have them as a midday snack. Other than zinc, they also contain iron, magnesium, copper, vitamin K and vitamin A. Having them regularly can also help manage your cholesterol and control blood pressure levels.

Spiced Pumpkin Seed and Cashew Crunch | Foodie On Board

28 gm of pumpkin seeds- 2.2 mg of zinc

28 gm of cashew – 1.6 mg of zinc

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