15 Nigerian Foods That Are Rich In Zinc

Nigerian foods rich in zinc

Zinc is a mineral that plays an important role in the body. It helps boost the immune system, enhances healing, promotes the production of proteins and DNA, as well as many other vital bodily functions.

Unfortunately, the human body is unable to store zinc, so you have to make sure you consume enough zinc in your daily diet.

The required daily intake for zinc in men is 11 mg of zinc per day, while women are required to take 8 mg. But pregnant women and breastfeeding women need 12 mg of zinc per day.

To make sure your body functions correctly, you need to consume a healthy balanced diet that has zinc-rich foods daily. Fortunately, they are many foods that are rich in zinc. However, which Nigerian foods are rich in zinc?

Because we are the best Nigerian health blog, we are providing you with the Nigerian foods that are rich in zinc.

1. Tiger Nuts

Health benefits of Tiger nuts

Tiger nuts are a delicious and convenient snack that is rich in zinc. They also contain many other healthy nutrients, such as healthy fats, fiber, and a number of other vitamins. You can find out more about the health benefits of tiger nuts.

2. Beans

Beans is another Nigerian food with enough zinc. It is also rich in proteins, has many amazing health benefits, and is also a great Nigerian food for weight loss.

Healthy Nigerian snacks like moin moin and akara, which are made from beans are also contain a substantial amount of zinc.

Green beans, brown beans, soybeans, black-eyed beans are all found in Nigeria and are rich in zinc.

3. Okpa

Health Benefits of Okpa
Health Benefits of Okpa

Okpa or Bambara nut pudding is local food that is popular in the Eastern part of Nigeria.

Apart from being a zinc-rich food, okpa is also packed with iron, calcium, and protein.

There are so many health benefits of okpa, and you should definitely eat more of this nutritious Nigerian snack.

4. African oil bean seed

Health Benefits of African Oil Bean Seed
Ukpaka or Ugba

African oil bean seed is also known as Ukpaka or Ugba in Igbo. African oil bean is used as a condiment in preparing many delicacies in Nigeria.

It has a rich nutritional profile, as it’s filled with iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and most especially zinc.

5. Ofada rice

Ofada rice
Image: @justofadaplace

Ofada rice is a local variety of rice grown in Nigeria. It is jam-packed with vital nutrients, unlike foreign rice. It is also extremely rich in zinc.

There are many other nutritional health benefits of ofada rice such as it ability to aid weight loss and give energy.

6. Periwinkle (snails)

Health Benefits of periwinkles

In Nigeria, particularly in the South-South region, the periwinkle, a small edible sea snail from the Littorinidae family known scientifically as “Littorina littorea,” is a prized ingredient used in traditional soups such as Afang and Edikang Ikong.

Periwinkles are small edible sea snails that are used in garnishing soups. This is a tasty seafood that is filled with zinc.

7. Meat, Beef, and Poultry

Red meat

Meats gotten from beef, pork, and chicken are not just packed with protein — they also provide a decent amount of zinc. [1]

8. Oats

Health Benefits of Oats

Oats are one of the healthy Nigerian cereals that are loaded with zinc. They are readily available and are usually eaten as breakfast in Nigeria. [2]

9. Milk


Dairy products are usually said to be rich sources of calcium. However, milk and yogurt are also nutritious sources of zinc.

They are widely produced, sold, and consumed in Nigeria. Natural sources of milk like fura da nono is extremely rich in milk compared to others.

10. Dates or Dabino

Benefits of dates of women

Dates, a nutritious fruit first discovered in Iraq thousands of years ago, have become widely popular around the globe.

Known scientifically as Phoenix dactylifera and coming from the date palm tree, these fruits are commonly consumed in Nigeria, especially in the northern region, where they are known as Dabino or Dabinu in Hausa.

Dabino or date fruits are also another Nigerian food rich in zinc. There are so many benefits of dates for women and men.

11. Bitter leaf

health benefits of bitter leaf

The bitter leaf plant, known as Vernonia Amygdalina, is a medicinal herb from tropical Africa with a notable bitter taste. It’s a highly valued plant used for health, cooking, and healing purposes.

In Nigeria, it’s commonly used to cook delicious dishes such as Ofe Onugbu.

Bitter leaves are healthy Nigerian vegetables that contain powerful antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

It is used to prepare bitter leaf soup and is completely loaded with enough zinc. Other vegetables like spinach are also rich in zinc.

Nigerian foods rich in zinc
Nigerian foods rich in zinc

12. Crabs and Shellfish

Crab and shellfish are both amazing sources of zinc. They are also good for the brain and heart. [3]

You can find out the other healthy seafoods in Nigeria.

13. Potatoes

Health benefits of Irish potatoes

Whether you’re regular, sweet, or Irish potatoes, you can be sure that you’re getting enough zinc in your system.

14. Eggs


Eggs contain a reasonable amount of zinc and can help you meet your required daily intake of zinc. One egg contains around 5% of zinc. [4]

15. Avocados

Nigerian foods for weight gain

If someone asks you which fruit has the most zinc? Tell me the answer is avocado. 100g of Avocado contains 0.6mg of zinc, which is 6% of your daily value.

Bottom Line

Zinc is a healthy mineral that has so many health benefits. Since zinc is not stored in the body, you must consume these Nigerian foods that are high in zinc. You should especially eat these zinc-rich foods if you suffer from zinc deficiency.

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