High protein foods protein rich plant animal vegan vegetarian
3 min read
Zinc is a mineral most well-recognised for its important role in wound healing, but it is also used in a wide range of other bodily functions - including DNA and protein synthesis, immune function, and growth and development in pregnancy and childhood...

How much do we need? 

Adult women need 8mg each day and men need slightly more at 14mg each day. 


Where to find it?

Foods that are high in zinc are often the protein containing foods (meat, chicken, eggs, dairy products) with oysters providing the highest quantity per serve and red meat and chicken providing most Australians with their daily zinc needs. However, it’s also possible to eat enough zinc on either a vegetarian or vegan diet.



Plant-based sources of zinc

Although animal products are the richest source of zinc in Australian diets, it’s possible to eat enough zinc on either a vegetarian or vegan diet. Similar to iron, phytates (found in wholegrains and green leafy vegetables) inhibit the absorption of zinc. 


Although zinc is added to many food products, the quantity varies. Some plant-based sources of naturally occurring zinc and the amount they contain are:


  • 100g pepitas (pumpkin seeds) = 7.5mg
  • 100g sunflower seeds = 6mg
  • 100g chia seeds = 4.5mg
  • 100g Brazil nuts = 4mg
  • 100g pecans = 4mg
  • 100g almonds = 3.5mg
  • 100g rolled oats = 3.5mg
  • 100g peanuts = 3mg
  • 100g walnuts = 2.5mg
  • 100g lentils = 1mg
  • 100g chickpeas = 1mg
  • 100g kidney beans = 0.6mg


Did you know, Eat Sustainably's meal plans are designed to help you meet your nutrient requirements, including zinc? Join our community to learn how you and your family can reach your zinc requirements.

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