Copper refers to a mineral that your body needs in small quantities for good health. It utilizes copper to form red blood cells, connective tissue, bone, and enzymes.
Copper is also essential for processing of cholesterol. It also helps in the proper functioning of your immune system. Cooper also helps in the process of growth and development in babies while they are still in the womb.
Your body only requires copper in small amounts. Yet, it is an extremely important mineral. Your body is not able to synthesize copper on its own. Therefore, it is essential for you to obtain it from external sources.
The recommended daily intake for copper is 900mcg for a healthy adult. However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you must take1mg or 1.3 mg of this mineral, respectively.
But how can you take copper from external sources? The best way to do so is to eat food rich in copper.
Following are the top 8 food which are the best sources for obtaining copper.
Organ meats, for example liver, are very nutritious. They not only provide you with copper but also with a lot of other nutrients. These predominantly include vitamin B12, B2, choline, iron, and folate.
The liver is, in fact, the best source of obtaining copper. Consuming one slice or 67 grams of calf liver provides you with almost 10.3 mg of copper. This is almost 1144% of the daily intake for this mineral.
In order to add zest and flavor to the liver, it is better to pan-fry it. Add little onions in it for a better taste. You may also add it in stews and burger patties.
The liver is very important for getting copper. But this does not mean that you should start consuming it in excessive amounts. Eating too much liver can particularly harm certain individuals, especially pregnant females.
The liver has a high amount of vitamin A in it which can be harmful to fetuses. Therefore, it is important for women to control their intake of the liver.
Oysters refer to a type of shellfish which most of the people consider as a delicacy. People usually eat it in raw form or cook it according to their own preferences.
This type of seafood is low in calories and consists of many essential nutrients. Some of them include selenium, zinc, and vitamin B12.
In addition to this, oysters are an extremely amazing source of copper. 3.5 ounces or 100 grams of oysters contain 7.6 mg of copper. This turns out to be 844% of the total RDI for copper.
However, you must be cautious about eating too many oysters or any other type of shellfish. This is because they are high in cholesterol and may be harmful to you.
However, it is very unlikely for dietary cholesterol to increase the quantity of cholesterol in the blood. It can only occur if you have any rare genetic condition which predisposes you to this.
Be sure that raw oysters may cause food poisoning. Therefore, they are not safe for pregnant females or people with compromised immune systems.
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Spirulina refers to a powerful food supplement which comes from blue-green algae or cyanobacteria. It emerged as an important health food after NASA used it for astronauts during space missions.
Every gram of spirulina is extremely nutritious. One tablespoon or 7 grams of this food contains only 20 calories but has 4 grams of protein. It fulfills 25% of the RDI for vitamin B2, 11% for iron, and 17% for vitamin B1.
The same amount of spirulina can also fulfill 44% of the RDI for copper too.
You can mix spirulina in water in order to form a greenish drink. If you are not a fan of its usual taste, you may add it to smoothies, stock, or cereal to mask the taste.
Shiitake mushrooms refer to a kind of edible mushrooms. With a strong umami flavor, these mushrooms are indigenous to East Asia.
15 grams or 4 dried shiitake mushrooms contain 2 grams of fiber, 44 calories, and a bulk of nutrients. These include manganese, folate, zinc, selenium, and vitamins B complex and D.
This portion also helps to knock out about 89% of the RDI for copper.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are small powerhouses full of nutrition. They are rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, in addition to a lot of different nutrients.
Different varieties of nuts and seeds usually contain different nutrients. However, most of them usually contain a whole lot of copper in them.
For example, 28 grams or 1 ounce of cashews or almonds have 67% and 33% of the RDI, respectively.
In addition to this, one tablespoon or 9 grams of sesame seeds can fulfill 44% of the RDI for copper.
You may also enjoy seeds and nuts as a standalone snack. Sprinkle it on the top of a salad or use it in baking casserole or bread.
Lobsters refer to large, muscular shellfish which lives on the seabed. They have succulent flesh which makes them perfect for making bisques, and soups. You may also consume them separately.
Lobster meat is usually high in protein, low in fat, and contains a lot of minerals and vitamins. The most prominent of them include vitamin B12 and selenium.
Lobster is also an excellent source for obtaining copper. In fact, using 3 ounces or 85 grams of lobster will give you 178% of the RDI for copper.
Interestingly, lobster can provide you with high cholesterol even though it is low in fat.
However, dietary cholesterol does not affect blood cholesterol very often. So it must not be a concern for most of the people.
Leafy greens, for example, spinach, Swiss chard, and kale can be extremely healthy. They consist of a variety of nutrients such as calcium, fiber, vitamin K, and folate. Moreover, they are low in calories.
A lot of leafy greens also contain good amounts of copper. For example, 173 grams or one cup of cooked Swiss chard can provide 33% of the RDI for copper.
The same amount is also provided by 180 grams of cooked spinach.
There are different ways to add leafy greens into your daily food. You can eat them raw in the form of a salad or add it into a stew. You may also consume them as a side to a lot of meals. This will boost their copper and nutrient content.
Dark chocolate consists of high amounts of cocoa solids and a way less sugar and milk than a regular chocolate. It is healthy for your body mainly because of its high fiber and antioxidant content.
One bar of dark chocolate can provide 200% of the RDI for copper. In addition to this, dark chocolate in balanced quantities can also decrease the risk of heart diseases.
However, do not overconsume this chocolate because it is still a high-calorie food.
The Bottom Line
Copper is extremely vital for your health and is present in a number of food items. Some of these food items include nuts, oysters, seeds, liver, lobsters, dark chocolate, leafy greens, and shitake mushrooms.
In order to prevent a copper deficiency, make sure to add these sources to your diet.