Highest in Copper – Top 10 Foods

April 21, 2011

Copper, Healthy Life, Minerals

Copper is an essential mineral required by the body for bone & connective tissue production, and for coding specific enzymes that range in function from eliminating free radicals to producing melanin. A deficiency in copper can lead to osteoporosis, joint pain, lowered immunity, and since copper is essential for the absorption of iron, anemia. Conversely, over-consumption of copper will lead to cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting in the short term, and can lead to depression, schizophrenia, hypertension, senility, and insomnia in the long term. The stomach needs to be acidic in order to absorb copper and thus antacids interfere with the absorption of copper, as do milk and egg proteins. The current RDA for copper is 2mg. Below is a list of high copper foods.

#1: Liver (P?t?)
The liver of any animal is packed with vitamins and minerals, and is best prepared steamed or fried with onions and herbs. Veal liver provides the most copper with 15mg per 100g serving or 81% of the RDA. A typical 67 gram portion will provide 504% of the RDA for copper. A single tablespoon of p?t? will provide 0.5mg of copper or 3% of the RDA.

#2: Oysters
Depending on type and variety oysters provide 1-8mg of copper per 100g serving, accounting for 37%-500% of the RDA. The oyster highest in copper is the steamed wild eastern oyster which provides 0.5mg(27% RDA) per oyster. In general, wild caught oysters provide more copper than farm raised.

#3: Sesame Seeds and Tahini(Sesame Butter)
Dried sesame seeds make a great topping and contain 7.75mg of copper per 100 gram serving or 204% of the RDA, that is 0.4mg (18%RDA) per table spoon. Tahini is commonly found in hummus, a ground chickpea spread and dip of the middle east, it will provide 0.24mg (12% RDA) of copper per tablespoon.

#4: Cocoa Powder and Chocolate
Unsweetened cocoa powder is a versatile ingredient that can be used in hot chocolate or chocolate banana pudding. 100 grams will provide 3.8mg of copper or 189% RDA. That is 3.3mg (163% RDA) of copper per cup, and 0.18mg (9% RDA) per tablespoon. A square of baking chocolate will provide 0.9mg of copper (47% RDA).

#5: Nuts
Nuts make a great snack, and are also a good source of copper. Cashew nuts provide the most copper with 2.2mg (111% RDA) per 100 gram serving, that is 3mg (152% RDA) per cup, and 0.2mg (10% RDA) per tablespoon. Other nuts high in copper include Hazelnuts (88% RDA), Brazil nuts (87% RDA), Walnuts (79% RDA), Pistachios (66% RDA), Pine Nuts (66% RDA), Peanuts (65% RDA), Pecans (60% RDA), and Almonds (59% RDA). Most mixed nuts combos contain 83% RDA per 100 gram serving (3/4 cup).

#6: Calamari and Lobster
Calamari (or squid) and lobster are both high in copper. 100 grams of calamari will provide 2.1mg of copper for 106% of the RDA. 100 grams of lobster will provide 1.9mg of copper or 97% RDA. That is about 2.8mg (140% RDA) per cup of lobster meat.

#7: Sunflower Seeds
A great snack on the go, or a great garnish on salads and soups, sunflower seeds provide 1.8mg (92% RDA) of copper per 100 gram serving. That is 2.5mg (123% RDA) per cup and 0.5mg (26% RDA) per ounce.

#8: Sun Dried Tomatoes
Sun Dried Tomatoes are delicious in a sandwich or as an ingredient in pasta sauce. 100 grams (about 2 cups) will provide 1.4mg of copper or 71% of the RDA. That is 0.8mg (38% RDA) per cup, and 0.03mg(1% RDA) per piece.

#9:Roasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds
A popular food in the Middle East and East Asia pumpkin and squash seeds contain about 1.4mg of copper per 100g serving (70% RDA). That is 1.9mg (96% RDA) per cup, and 0.4mg (19% RDA) per tablespoon. If you can’t find these in your local supermarket you will surely find them in Middle Eastern or East Asian specialty stores. Alternatively, you can also save any pumpkin and squash seeds you have and roast them in your oven. The seeds are typically consumed by cracking the outer shell and eating the seed inside.

#10: Dried Herbs
Long used for medicinal purposes, herbs are packed with nutrients and copper is no exception. Dried Basil provides the most copper with 1.4mg per 100 gram serving, or 68% of the RDA. That is 0.03mg (1% RDA) per tablespoon. Other herbs high in copper include Marjoram (57% RDA), Oregano (47% RDA), Thyme (43% RDA), Savory (42% RDA), and Parsley (32% RDA).

This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!
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