Zinc is an essential mineral that your body needs for a strong immune system. In fact, taking zinc has been linked to reduced risks of respiratory infections, and cutting short the duration of the common cold! Unfortunately, millions of Americans don’t get enough zinc. With these easy zinc meals below, each delightful recipe offers you and your family an easy and delicious way to get more zinc in your diet!

1. BREAKFAST: Caramelized Banana Oatmeal

zinc meals

Oats are naturally rich in zinc and other important immunity-boosting minerals.

Forget instant oats or the stuff from the box. This extravagant breakfast awakens your tastebuds bright and early in the morning with caramelized flavors not unlike creme brulee…but far healthier! 

A single bowl of this fancy oatmeal nets you nearly 30% of your daily requirement of zinc, because oats are exceptionally high in this immune-boosting mineral (the bananas and other ingredients add a touch of sweetness, plus even more zinc!). The high fiber content also ensures you feel full and happy all morning, beating those mid-morning snack blues.

1 cup rolled oats

3 bananas, sliced into rounds

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup organic, pure maple syrup (or a similar natural sweetener of your choice)

Pinch of cinnamon

Dash of vanilla extract

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add the oats, then lower the heat to a simmer and let it cook until it thickens (approximately 5-8 minutes).

While the oatmeal is simmering, heat oil in a frying pan and add the syrup, cinnamon and vanilla. Whisk briskly as the liquid starts to bubble and caramelize, then add all the bananas and simmer for 2 minutes. Flip the bananas and simmer for another 2 minutes. By now, the banana slices should be golden-brown and the natural sugars starting to coat each slice in delicious caramelization.

Scoop the oats into a bowl, add your banana toppings and enjoy hot!

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2. LUNCH: Apple Walnut Balsamic Salad

zinc meals

If you don’t have walnuts on hand, many of your favorite nuts are also rich in zinc. Prime examples include sunflower seeds, pecan seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds.

Whether you’re eating lunch at home or packing lunch to go, this delicious salad can be easily made ahead and tossed into a big Mason jar for a convenient, and more importantly delicious, zinc meal.

The balsamic-drizzled walnuts give this salad a zesty crunch, and also a lot of zinc. In fact, a single cup of walnuts provides more than 20% of your daily needs of zinc. If you don’t have walnuts on hand, many of your favorite nuts are also rich in zinc. Prime examples include sunflower seeds, pecan seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds. Plus, the healthy fats in nuts also support a strong immunity!

SALAD

1 head of red or green lettuce, chopped

1 medium apple, diced

1/4 cup red onions, julienned

1 cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped

DRESSING

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil or the oil of your choice

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp Dijon mustard (very important as an emulsifier!)

2 tsp raw organic local honey or a sweetener of your choice

Pinch of salt and pepper

First, whisk together all the dressing ingredients and set aside to let the flavors swirl.

Assemble the salad by sprinkling the apple, onions and nuts on top of your lettuce. Drizzle with the balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy!

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3. DINNER: Slow-Cooker Chili

zinc meals

Beans are one of the best sources of plant-based zinc. In fact, just 1/2 cup of kidney beans gives you nearly 10 percent of your daily needs of zinc.

For those busy days, or days when you don’t want to spend an hour in the kitchen, whip up this savory chili. It will fill your home with amazing fragrances, and satisfy even the pickiest of eaters with rich layers of flavor, all while the slow cooker does the heavy lifting so you don’t have to.

Beans are one of the best sources of plant-based zinc. In fact, just 1/2 cup of kidney beans gives you nearly 10 percent of your daily needs of zinc.

All of the carefully selected herbs and tomatoes also add exceptional amounts of antioxidants, helping this zinc meal to further support a strong immune system, sharp mind and healthy body.

1 tablespoon olive oil or the oil of your choice

2 pounds lean ground beef (optional; other ground meats, and even plant-based “meat” crumbles, can also be used)

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium sweet onion, diced

2 1/2 cups soup stock (beaf, vegetarian, etc.)

1 (16-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (16-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 (15-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

4 tbsp chili powder 

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp ground cumin

In a frying pan, heat the oil and saute the ground meat until cooked, then toss in the onion and garlic and continue to cook while stirring for another 5-10 minutes or until the onions and garlic are soft and fragrant.

Pour the mixture into a slow cooker, then add the rest of the ingredients. 

Cook on your slow cooker’s low heat setting for eight hours. If you’re in a rush, use the high heat setting for approximately six hours. Consult your slow cooker’s manual for more guidance on individual cooking settings. Within a half-hour of serving, toss in some of your favorite veggies such as peppers, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, etc and enjoy!

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More Ways to Support Your Health

Your zinc meals are just one piece in your immune system’s wellness puzzle. Thymic proteins are another piece. It is the job of these thymic proteins to train the body’s immune system to effectively seek and identify diseased cells. Unfortunately, your levels of thymic proteins fall as you get older. BioPro-Plus 500 offers a full dose of thymic proteins to help restore your body’s natural levels. Maximize your health by combining these antiviral soups with healthy supplements!

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