#HealthBytes: Few foods to help meet your body's copper requirements
Copper is an essential mineral - meaning that it cannot be produced by the body and should be obtained from the diet. Copper helps process cholesterol and aids in the proper functioning of the immune system. However, only a tiny amount is required for these processes. Here's a list of a few food items that can help meet your body's copper requirements.
Oysters are rich in copper and other essential nutrients
Oysters are low in calories and are a popular seafood delicacy. This shellfish is rich in several essential nutrients like zinc, selenium, Vitamin B12 in addition to copper (7.6 mg per 100 grams). Keep in mind though, raw oysters should not be consumed by pregnant women or individuals with a compromised immune system, as they carry with them a risk of bacterial infection.
Lobster meat is loaded with vitamins and minerals like copper
Your favorite lobster is not just a delicious treat, but is also a powerhouse of minerals like selenium, Vitamin B12 and copper. Lobster meat is low in fat and high in protein and can be fried, baked or added to soups and bisques. That said, it is quite high in cholesterol. So, if you have high cholesterol levels, you should exercise portion control.
Dark chocolate: Eat it in small portions to get benefit
Dark chocolate is a healthy treat and is an excellent source of antioxidants, fiber and several nutrients including copper. Among its many benefits, dark chocolate reduces the risk of heart diseases, regulates cholesterol levels and may also improve eyesight. However, it is important to eat dark chocolate in small portions, as it is rich in calories and loaded with fat.
Spinach and leafy greens are a good choice for vegetarians
If you are a vegetarian, leafy greens such as spinach and kale are an excellent option to meet your copper requirements. The greens can be added to your curries, sandwiches and stew. You can also include them to your salads as a part of every meal. That way, you will not only meet the copper requirements, but magnesium and folate as well.