Zinc is absolutely indispensable for our bodies, being needed to activate more than 300 enzymes. It’s found in cells throughout the body and is involved in cell division and cell growth. It has anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant properties, and is vital for immunity, digestion, brain function, fertility, energy and hormone production. It’s also needed structurally in our skin, hair and nails.

The RDA for zinc in the UK is 9.5mg for males and 7mg for women. Smoking and drinking deplete zinc levels. Vegetarians and vegans are also at greater risk of deficiency as many of the best zinc sources are red meat and shellfish, and because the typical vegetarian diet is high in phytic acid, which interferes with zinc absorption. Pregnancy increases the chances of zinc deficiency too, as the mineral is needed during embryo and foetus development.

Best sources (by nutrient density):

  1. Beef
  2. Lamb
  3. Sesame/Pumpkin seeds
  4. Lentils
  5. Garbanzo beans
  6. Cashews
  7. Turkey
  8. Quinoa
  9. Shrimp
  10. Scallops

Best SHOT sources (by % RDA):

  1. Braised Beef Chilli (103%)
  2. Steak Sandwich (63%)
  3. Chargrilled Cauliflower & Quinoa Salad (50%)
  4. Chicken & Turmeric Hummus Wrap (41%)
  5. Baked Falafel & Marinated Beetroot Salad (39%)