Zinc in Nuts: Which Nuts Have the Most?

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Nuts are a solid source of zinc, but some nuts are better than others.

We’re going to look at the amount of zinc in several types of common nuts, like almonds, cashews, and pine nuts.

Note that all nutrition data on this page is per 100 grams of each nut.

How Much Zinc Do You Need?

To put the amount of zinc in nuts into context, we’ll need a reference data.

According to the NIH, most adults need between 8 to 11 mg of zinc per day. Getting a bit more is not a problem in most cases.

Note that zinc from plant sources like nuts is less bioavailable than from animal sources, so aiming a little higher is a good idea if you get most of your zinc from plants.

Nuts High in Zinc

The table below shows the amount of zinc in each nut per 100 gram serving, along with the RDA based on 11 mg of zinc per day.

  Zinc (mg) Zinc (%RDA)
Pine nuts 6.45 58.6
Cashews 5.61 51.0
Pecans 4.53 41.1
Brazil nut 4.06 36.9
Peanuts 3.27 29.8
Almonds 3.11 28.3
Walnuts 3.09 28.1
Hazelnut 2.44 22.2
Pistachio nuts 2.20 20.0
Macadamia nut 1.30 11.8

As you can see, there’s a wide range from the best to worst, so the type of nut definitely matters if you’re specifically trying to get more zinc in your diet.

Which Nuts Are Highest in Zinc?

Pine nuts and cashews are the nuts with the most zinc. They are the only 2 nuts that have more than 5 mg per serving (or over 50% of the RDA).

Pecans, brazil nuts, peanuts, almonds, and walnuts all have around 30-35% of the RDA per 100 gram serving, which is a solid amount.

Which Nuts Are Lowest in Zinc?

Macadamia nuts have the least amount of zinc among common nuts by far. While they do have about 12% of the RDA per 100 gram serving, it’s much less than all the rest.

Hazelnuts and pistachios are also relatively low in zinc compared to the other nuts like pine nuts and cashews.

Other Good Plant-Based Sources of Zinc

Meat is a good source for zinc, but when comparing nuts among the other best plant-based sources of zinc, they rank fairly well.

However, there are some other sources of zinc that are better:

  • Seeds – In particular, pumpkin, sesame, and hemp seeds all have more zinc than most nuts.
  • Legumes – All legumes (beans, lentils, etc.) have a great amount of zinc and other minerals.
  • Grains – Certain grains like oats and rye are relatively high in zinc (comparable to the amount in nuts).

One important factor to consider is that all these alternatives are lower in calories.

Most people can’t accommodate 200 grams of nuts in their diet just to get zinc, they just have too many calories. So while it makes sense to get some zinc from nuts, they should be combined with other sources in a healthy diet.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. I've spent over 6 years as a freelance nutrition writer and researcher. During this time, I've tested over 50 vegan protein powders, and over 100 other types of vegan supplements.