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5 copper-rich foods and why they are a worthy addition to your diet

Copper is necessary for your body to be healthy. You can get it by eating certain foods. Let's find out which all foods are high in copper.
Foods rich in copper
Eat foods rich in copper for better health. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Shruti Bhattacharya Published: 25 Dec 2023, 12:00 pm IST
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Copper is an important dietary mineral, and your body needs a trace amount of it for healthy functioning of biological activities. A wide range of fruits, vegetables and meats are among copper-rich foods. This mineral boosts energy level, supports mental health and aids in the synthesis of red blood cells. Read on to find out which all foods are high in copper.

What are the health benefits of copper?

In the intricate symphony of nutrients that our body requires, copper plays a crucial role. This essential trace element aids acts as an antioxidant, combating free radicals. In terms of bone health, copper collaborates with other minerals to maintain skeletal integrity.

“In the Indian culture, the use of copper utensils such as ‘Tamba ka Ghada’ or having morning water from ‘Tambe ka lota’ was not merely tradition; it was a naturally intuitive way to infuse our bodies with this vital mineral,” says dietician Eti Jain.

Food in copper utensils
Copper is important for your health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here are some of the health benefits of copper:

1. Helps to prevent anemia and boost energy

Copper is required for the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The cell’s energy currency is referred to as ATP. Energy level may be impacted by anemia, which copper helps to prevent. Anemia may result from both an excess and a shortage of copper.

2. Brain health

Your body’s highest concentration of copper is found in your brain. Brain function can be impacted by copper abnormalities. A lack of copper in the growing body might cause inadequate development of the brain and nerves. Alzheimer’s disease risk may also be elevated by low copper status.

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3. Metabolism

Eating copper-rich foods facilitates the breakdown of fat cells. Maintaining body weight and energy reserves requires this breakdown. Copper is also required by the body’s cells for metabolic processes, says the expert.

4. Skin health

Copper enhances skin health and shields cells from harm caused by free radicals. It can improve wound healing and lessen the appearance of wrinkles and age spots. It increases the body’s production of collagen and improves the suppleness of skin.

Which all foods are high in copper?

To boost your copper intake naturally, include foods such as:

1. Seeds and nuts

Copper is abundant in many nuts and seeds such as sesame seeds. For every cup, they have 5.9 mg of copper. Furthermore, you can eat nuts high in copper. You can have cashew nuts, which have 0.6 mg of copper per ounce (28 g).

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2. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has lots of fiber, antioxidants and minerals. It may aid in lowering cholesterol levels and is proven to enhance cardiovascular health. Dark chocolate should only be eaten in moderation because it is high in calories too. 0.015 mg of copper can be found in one dark chocolate bar.

3. Beans

Copper can also be found in beans. Garbanzo beans, sometimes referred to as chickpeas, are a good source of copper, containing 0.57 mg per cup. Another good source of copper is boiled soybeans, which provide 0.2 mg per cup, says Jain.

4. Potatoes

About 0.34 mg of copper can be found in a medium-sized potato. But keep in mind that you should cook your potatoes with the skin on since they have the highest copper content. Copper is also found in sweet potatoes; a medium-sized sweet potato has 0.13 mg of copper in it.

A bag of potatoes
Potatoes are rich in copper. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Dark green vegetables

Raw kale and spinach are two examples of highly nutritious green vegetables that are also low in calories and high in copper. Furthermore, they contain high levels of fiber, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium and folate, all of which support healthy bone development, blood cell production, and the prevention of anemia.

How much copper should one take in a day?

While copper is vital, moderation is key. The recommended dietary allowance for copper is around 900 micrograms per day for adults, says the expert. Striking a balance by incorporating copper-rich foods without overindulgence is the golden rule.

Apart from dietary sources, embracing the age-old practice of using copper utensils for water storage or consumption can enhance your copper intake.

What are the side effects of copper?

While copper is essential, excess intake can lead to adverse effects. Symptoms of copper toxicity include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Long-term exposure to high copper levels may impact liver function.


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About the Author

Shruti Bhattacharya is a content writer and editor for over 2 years. She specialises in writing on a variety of topics such as wellness, lifestyle, beauty, technology and fashion. Her current focus is on creating factually correct and informative stories for readers. ...Read More

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