What is zinc? Why do I need zinc?

Zinc in Vegetarian Diets resourceZinc can be found all organs, tissues and fluids in the body. Zinc provides many functions including:

  • Optimal growth and development
  • Reproduction
  • Appetite
  • Taste ability
  • Night vision.
  • Proper function of the immune system.

Zinc is widely available from many types of foods, so deficiency is rare in North Americans including vegetarians.  The problem arises from phytate, a compound found in grains, nuts, and legumes that reduce our body’s ability to absorb zinc from these foods.

Download our FREE full-color Zinc in Vegetarian Diets resource and discover how to maximize the absorption of zinc from plant foods, choose foods high in zinc, and get menu ideas.

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Debbie King MS RD LD

My passion for nutrition began when I took a college nutrition class. I have worked as a Clinical Dietitian, Director of Nutrition Services, and for several years as Mom. When my youngest left for college I decided to return to my passion of sharing the health benefits of eating vegetarian meals. I enjoy teaching nutrition, volunteering in my community, and working as the Web Editor for the Vegetarian Nutrition website.

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