Zinc is an important micronutrient for health of immune system, healing of wounds, protein and DNA synthesis and division of cells. 

Vegans tend to have lower intakes and lower zinc status in comparison to non-vegans1. Zinc from plant foods is not as bioavailable compared to the zinc found in animal-based foods and as such vegans should aim for higher intakes than the RDA in my opinion. The Institute of Medicine suggests 50% higher requirement for vegetarians, especially strict vegetarians2.

Examples of plant based sources:
Sceptical Doctor in internationally

   (Source: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/ + my box of Engevita nutritional yeast)

Soaking, sprouting and fermenting plants can make zinc more absorbable3,4 . Leavening whole meal bread also helps to increase the bioavailability of zinc5.


1. Foster, M., Chu, A., Petocz, P. and Samman, S., 2013. Effect of vegetarian diets on zinc status: a systematic review and meta?analysis of studies in humans. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 93(10), pp.2362-2371 
2. https://www.nap.edu
3. Afify, A.E.M.M., El-Beltagi, H.S., Abd El-Salam, S.M. and Omran, A.A., 2011. Bioavailability of iron, zinc, phytate and phytase activity during soaking and germination of white sorghum varieties. Plos one, 6(10), p.e25512.   (https://journals.plos.org
4. Moeljopawiro, S., Fields, M.L. and Gordon, D., 1988. Bioavailability of zinc in fermented soybeans. Journal of Food Science, 53(2), pp.460-463.   (https://ift.onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
5.  Barbro, N., Brittmarie, S. and Cederblad, Å.K.E., 1985. Reduction of the phytate content of bran by leavening in bread and its effect on zinc absorption in man. British Journal of Nutrition, 53(1), pp.47-53.        (https://www.cambridge.org)

Subscribe to get our latest content!

We promise we’ll never spam! Take a look at our Privacy Policy for more info.