Zinc and copper content of foods used in vegetarian diets.
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The zinc and copper content of seventy-four foods was determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Each of these foods was reported to have been consumed by practicing vegetarians. Legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains, hard cheeses, and some nutritional supplements were found to be excellent sources of both zinc and copper. Vegetables, fruits, and their products were generally poor sources of trace minerals, with the exception of seed and bean sprouts. Milk and milk products, including rennetless cheeses, contain small quantities of these minerals. Although many of the foods consumed by vegetarians do contain adequate amounts of zinc and copper, their bioavailability may be limited.