- Zinc is important for your immune system.
- Your body can’t make zinc so you need to get it through your diet.
- Teenage boys need about 8-11mg of zinc every day.
Zinc is a mineral that is important for your immune system. Zinc is also needed for wound healing and normal growth and development.
How much zinc do I need?
Because your body cannot make zinc, you must get it through your diet. The amount of zinc you need daily, or the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), depends on your age and gender. Boys age 9 to 13 years old need 8 milligrams of zinc each day. Boys age 14 to 18 years old need 11 milligrams each day.
What are some good sources of zinc?
There are many different foods that have zinc. Oysters contain the most zinc, but red meat and poultry are the most commonly eaten sources of zinc. Zinc is also found in:
- Dairy products
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Meat, poultry, and shellfish
- Soy foods
- Whole grains
Some foods rich in zinc are listed below:
|Food||Serving||Milligrams (mg) of zinc per serving|
|Yogurt, plain, low-fat||1 cup||1.78|
|Ricotta cheese, part skim||1/2 cup||1.34|
|1% milk||1 cup||0.86|
|Cheddar cheese||1 ounce||1.0|
|Grains and Cereals |
|Brown rice, cooked, long grain||1/2 cup||0.7|
|Cheerios® cereal||1/2 cup||13.4|
|Life® cereal||1/2 cup||5.8|
|Wheat germ||1 Tbsp||2.4|
|Lima beans||1/2 cup||0.9|
|Meat, Poultry, Shellfish, and Eggs|
|Chicken breast||3 ounces||0.8|
|Egg, large||1 egg||1.2|
|Hamburger, 95% lean||3 ounces||3.1|
|Sirloin steak||3 ounces||5.7|
|Soy Foods |
|Tofu, firm||1/2 cup||1.6|