Zinc is one ingredient that has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years thanks to its incredible health and beauty benefits. Especially beneficial for people with oily skin, it is also found in a number of popular skincare products like cleansers and toners for oily skin. But this doesn’t mean that those of us with other skin types cannot benefit from this star ingredient.
Á good way to consume zinc and meet the required dietary amount would be through supplements. But if you are someone who prefers holistic methods before moving onto supplements, then we have just the perfect thing for you! The other common yet highly effective way to meet the zinc requirements for healthy skin is to include foods that are high in zinc. There are a number of common veg and non-veg zinc-rich food options that you must start including in your diet today to control oily skin problems and achieve the clear and glowing skin that you’ve always wanted.
But before starting with the food options, let’s take a look at the sheer number of skincare benefits of including zinc-rich foods in your diet.
Benefits of zinc for skin
1. Has antioxidant benefits –
Even though zinc is not an antioxidant in itself, it does deliver some amazing antioxidant benefits. It plays a very important role in protecting your skin against free radicals in the environment and protects the skin’s lipids for healthier skin.
2. Reduces inflammation –
Another amazing benefit of zinc is its anti-inflammatory properties. When combined with antioxidants, it helps in preventing your skin against oxidative damage that can end up causing inflammation and skin irritations. Additionally, the antibacterial, astringent and barrier-protective abilities of zinc work really well for people with
3. Prevents and heals acne –
The anti-inflammatory properties of zinc is the main reason why it is so successful at reducing and controlling acne. It improves your body’s immune function and prevents the inflammatory response that causes acne.
4. Delays visible signs of ageing –
Zinc is a great ingredient to prevent and reduce premature signs of ageing. This is because it helps in improving cell turnover, protects skin against sun damage, aids in collagen building and DNA repair to keep your skin youthful, healthy and glowing.
Top 7 Zinc-rich foods
After looking at the benefits of zinc for skin, we are sure you are excited to find out about the various zinc-rich foods available, right? So let’s get started!
1. Pumpkin seeds
A plant-based source of zinc to add to your diet ASAP is pumpkin seeds. A tablespoon of pumpkin seeds contains 2.2 milligrams of zinc, which is about 28% of the recommended amount for an adult woman. Additionally, this amount also delivers 8.5 grams of protein, making it an excellent choice for your overall health, skin and hair maintenance. If you can’t eat pumpkin seeds directly, you can add a tablespoon to your smoothies, salads or fruit bowls for a yummy crunch.
If you needed one more reason to include oats in your diet, then here it is. This breakfast staple is not only an excellent source of dietary fibre, but about half a cup of oats contains 1.3 mg of zinc. This makes up about 16% of the daily requirement for women. Additionally, consuming oats is extremely simple and hassle-free. Have about half a cup each morning by adding them to your milk. Throw in some of your favourite fruits for a yummy, healthy treat.
If you are a non-vegetarian who loves seafood, then you’d be delighted to know that crabs are one of the richest sources of zinc rich foods. One serving of zinc contains a whooping 7 mg of zinc (88% of daily requirement). While the exact amount of zinc depends on the type of crab you are consuming, generally speaking, crabs are a source of zinc and one that you should definitely not miss out on.
Another great plant-based option for your daily zinc needs are chickpeas. Even though most beans and legumes are rich sources of zinc, chickpeas are particularly brimming with the mineral. A cup of boiled chickpeas alone delivers over 30% of your everyday requirement, apart from being an excellent source of vegetarian fibre and protein. Munching on boiled chickpeas in between meals is a fun way to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and energy.
5. Greek yogurt
Apart from being an excellent probiotic food, Greek yogurt is also on the top of our list when it comes to foods rich in zinc. A small bowl of plain Greek yogurt once a day delivers a major chunk of your zinc needs. Ensure that you consume Greek yogurt after your meals to aid digestion and boost the probiotic lining in your gut.
Oysters are one of the best and richest sources of zinc and if you are a seafood lover, this is one food you must include in your diet. Did you know that consuming just one oyster compensates for about 50 percent of your zinc requirement, apart from delivering countless other skin and hair benefits and nutrients, including vitamin B12. This is why we say consuming oysters a must if you want healthy, glowing skin.
If you are looking for a low-calorie source of zinc that is great for people wanting to lose weight, then you need to add mushrooms (especially shiitake mushrooms) to your diet. Even though one unit of shiitake mushrooms only delivers about three percent of your daily zinc needs, having a handful does do the job quite well. Additionally, there are so many fun ways to include mushrooms to your diet. Simply toss them in butter, add to them your salads, wraps or even make a curry out of it; the options are endless.
FAQs about zinc-rich foods
Q. Does spinach contain zinc?
A. Yes, green leafy vegetables, especially spinach, is an excellent source of plant-based zinc. Apart from this, consuming spinach regularly also helps in improving the amount of phosphorus, dietary fibre, vitamin B1 and choline, which make it an excellent food item for several health, skin and hair benefits.
Q. What are the signs of zinc deficiency?
A. Maintaining correct zinc levels is extremely important for the overall healthy functioning of your body. The most common symptoms of zinc deficiency are a loss of smell and taste, delayed or extremely slow wound healing, recurring skin rashes, hair loss and brittle nails. If you notice any of these signs and symptoms, it is always best to visit a doctor and get this tested at the earliest.
Q. What are some other vegetarian sources of zinc?
A. Watermelon seeds, hemp seeds, black beans, tofu, beans, cashews, dark chocolate are some other commonly available vegetarian sources of zinc that you must include in your daily diet ASAP.