Zinc plays a major role in your body’s immune response. This means zinc deficiency can have many negative effects on your health. Zinc is very essential in wound healing and DNA synthesis. You need to consume enough zinc-rich food daily because your body cannot produce it naturally. Studies have shown that zinc has a vital role in growth and development.
Zinc is used by our body to build T lymphocytes. Some recent studies have shown that zinc can help in preventing macular degeneration and improve your eye health. Statistics show that a significant number of older adults in the U.S are suffering from zinc deficiency. If you do not consume enough zinc daily, it will cause hair loss, diarrhea, loss of appetite, impaired immune response, etc.
Here is the list of some of the plant-based foods that are rich in zinc.
Adding seeds to your daily plant-based meal plan will ensure an adequate intake of zinc. You will get 31-43 % of your daily requirement of zinc from just 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds. Some other seeds that are rich in zinc are sesame, pumpkin, and squash seeds. You will also get enough fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats from these seeds. Studies have shown that eating more seeds will help in reducing blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.
Some of the legumes that are rich in zinc are beans, lentils, and chickpeas. You will get 12 % of your daily requirement of zinc from just 100 grams of cooked lentils. It is important to note that you should always cook lentils before you eat because it has a high amount of phytate. This antinutrient will inhibit the absorption of nutrients. In addition to zinc, legumes are one of the best plant-based sources of protein and fiber.
You will get a good amount of zinc from whole grains, such as oats, rice, wheat, and quinoa. They are also abundant in other essential nutrients like B vitamins, iron, magnesium, fiber, manganese, selenium, and phosphorous.
You have to include more nuts in your plant-based diet because they are also packed with several healthy minerals, including zinc. You will get 15% of your daily requirement of zinc from just a 1-ounce serving of cashew.
Potatoes, kale, beans, etc. are good sources of zinc. One large potato will offer around 1 ng of zinc. Most other vegetables are not a good source of zinc but including them in your diet will provide a lot of other health benefits.