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Zinc, Manganese and Phosphorus Foods

author image Aubri John
Aubri John has been a contributing researcher and writer to online physical and mental health oriented journals since 2005. John publishes online health and fitness articles that coincide with her licensed clinical skills in addictions, psychology and medical care. She has a master's degree in clinical social work and a Ph.D. in health psychology.
Zinc, Manganese and Phosphorus Foods
A platter with fresh oysters. Photo Credit Shaiith/iStock/Getty Images

Zinc, manganese and phosphorus make up three of the several minerals you need for good health. Minerals cannot be produced in living organisms, but you get them in your diet because they are absorbed from the soil directly into plants or indirectly from animals that eat plants containing minerals. A well-balanced diet that includes an array of fruits, vegetables, grains and lean proteins provides you with adequate daily intake of zinc, manganese and phosphorus.

Zinc Intake and Food Sources

Zinc supports normal growth and development, plays a role in immune system functions and metabolic functions in your cells. Zinc does not store in your body; it must be replenished through food sources on a daily basis. The daily allowance of zinc for adults is 8 mg to 11 milligrams. Oysters are the most abundant source of zinc and other seafood, such as crab and lobster, supply adequate amounts in one serving. Beef, pork and dark meat chicken also help you reach your daily recommended intake. Although beans, nuts and fortified whole grains have small amounts of zinc, chemicals called phytic acids present in these foods inhibit the proper absorption of zinc in your body.

Manganese Intake and Food Sources

Manganese helps your body form connective tissue, bone and sex hormones. It plays a role in metabolic processes like calcium absorption, glucose regulation and normal functions of the brain and nerves. Manganese also offers antioxidant activity to protect your cells from harmful molecules. Daily adequate intake of manganese for adults is 1.8 to 2.3 milligrams. Food sources include pecans, almonds, peanuts, and bean varieties. Pineapple, spinach and sweet potatoes have adequate amounts of manganese per serving, as do whole grains like brown rice, wheat bread and oatmeal.

Phosphorus Intake and Food Sources

All of your cells require phosphorus for normal functions and it is important as a buffering mineral for your body to maintain acid-base, or pH, balance. Phosphorus helps to filter waste in the kidneys, it is needed for the maintenance of cells and it is highly present in bone. You need 700 milligrams of phosphorus daily. Food sources include dairy, poultry, beef or fish, beans and nut varieties. Phosphorus is present in most foods, but plant-based foods, including refined grains like white bread or rice, potatoes and cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, are low in phosphorus.

Meal Ideas and Tips

Because you can find zinc, manganese and phosphorus in a variety of foods, you can easily create meals that offer significant amounts of all three nutrients. Try serving steamed crab on a bed of steamed spinach, and cap your meal with grilled pineapple. Alternatively, make a healthful taco salad -- start with a bed of baby spinach, add a homemade corn and black bean salsa and top your meal with low-fat cheddar cheese and chopped grilled chicken.

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