Zinc is an essential mineral that plays an important role in many biological processes in our body. Consuming foods rich in zinc is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system, proper synthesis of proteins, healthier skin, controlling blood sugar levels, the creation DNA, proper maintenance of the sense of smell and taste and formulation of enzymes.

For  the fitness and bodybuilding enthusiasts zinc is known as an important mineral for proper muscle growth. There two very important muscle benefits that can be obtained by eating foods rich in zinc. The first benefit is the ability of zinc to increase testosterone levels ( which contributes to increasing overall muscle mass ) and the second is that enables better sleep. Consuming small amounts followed by regular and intensive training will lead to a lack of zinc in the body.

The following symptoms are result due to zinc deficiency :
  • Sleep problems
  • Slow growth ( children)
  • Hair problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry skin and skin deseases
  • Loss of sense of smell and taste
  • White spots on the nails

The recommended lowest daily intake is 5-10 mg, while the highest recommended daily dose is 25-45 mg. Also it should be mentioned that high daily intake would disrupt the absorption of iron and can lead to anemia.

The following products contain a great amount of zinc :

Cocoa and dark chocolate – These two products in 100 grams contains about 6-7 milligrams or 50 % of the recommended daily intake.

Pumpkin seeds – Contains about 10 mg. Other seeds that contain good amount are sunflower and linseed.

Red meat – Among the zinc, red meat has also a great amount of iron.

Peanuts – 100 g roasted peanuts contains about 25 % of the recommended daily intake.

Spinach – Although compared to previously mentioned products, spinach has less content, considered that is a plant contains a good amount.

Beans – Beans is an excellent source from plant origin and is a great choice for all vegetarians. 100 grams of beans containing 3-4 milligrams.

Egg yolks – Egg yolks are an excellent source and beside that contains minerals and a variety of vitamins such as vitamin A, E, D, and K. 100 g egg yolks contain 5-6 mg.

Other sources are :

Turkey meat

Brown rice