Zinc is an important micronutrient for health of immune system, healing of wounds , protein and DNA synthesis and division of cells.
The Nationals Institutes of Health's Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Zinc:
*Adequate Intake (AI)
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 that RDA in my opinion. The Institute of Medicine suggests 50% higher requirement for vegetarian, especially strict vegetarians2.
Examples of plant based sources:
(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
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)