5 foods rich in copper and why they are a valuable addition to your diet

Copper is essential for the health of your body. You can get it by eating certain foods. Let’s find out which all the foods are rich in copper.

Copper is an important dietary mineral, and your body needs it in small amounts for the healthy functioning of biological functions. Foods rich in copper include a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and meats. This mineral increases energy levels, supports mental health and helps with red blood cell synthesis. Read on to find out which all foods are rich in copper.

What are the health benefits of copper?

In the complex symphony of nutrients our body needs, copper plays a crucial role. This essential trace element acts as an antioxidant and fights free radicals. In terms of bone health, copper works in cooperation with other minerals to maintain bone integrity.

In Indian culture, using copper utensils like Tamba ka Ghada or drinking morning water from Tambe ka lota was not just a tradition; it was a naturally intuitive way to infuse our bodies with this vital mineral,” says nutritionist Eti Jain.

Copper is important for health. Photo: Shutterstock

Here are some health benefits of copper:

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1. Helps prevent anemia and increases energy

Copper is needed for the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The cell’s energy currency is called ATP. Energy levels can be affected by anemia, which copper helps prevent. Anemia can be caused by both excess and deficiency of copper.

2. Brain health

The highest concentration of copper in your body is found in your brain. Copper abnormalities can affect brain function. Lack of copper in the growing body may cause insufficient development of the brain and nerves. A low copper content can also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Metabolism

Eating copper-rich foods facilitates the breakdown of fat cells. Maintaining body weight and energy stores requires this breakdown. The body’s cells also need copper for metabolic processes, the expert says.

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4. Skin health

Copper improves skin health and protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. It can improve wound healing and reduce the signs of wrinkles and aging. It increases the body’s collagen production and improves skin elasticity.

What are all foods rich in copper?

You can increase your copper intake naturally by including foods such as:

1. Seeds and nuts

Copper is abundant in many nuts and seeds, such as sesame seeds. Each cup contains 5.9 mg of copper. You can also eat nuts that are rich in copper. You can eat cashews, which have 0.6 mg of copper per ounce (28 g).

2. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has a lot of fiber, antioxidants and minerals. It can help lower cholesterol levels and has been shown to improve cardiovascular health. Dark chocolate should only be eaten in moderation, as it is also high in calories. One dark chocolate bar contains 0.015 mg of copper.

3. Beans

Copper is also found in beans. Garbanzo beans, sometimes called chickpeas, are a good source of copper, containing 0.57 mg per cup. Another good source of copper is cooked soybeans, which have 0.2 mg per cup, says Jain.

4. Potatoes

A medium potato has about 0.34 mg of copper. However, remember that you should cook potatoes with their skins on, as they have the highest copper content. Copper is also found in sweet potatoes; a medium sweet potato has 0.13 mg of copper.

A bag of potatoes
Potatoes are rich in copper. Photo: 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. In addition, they are rich in fiber, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, and folate, all of which support healthy bone development, blood cell production, and anemia prevention.

How much copper should be taken per day?

Although copper is vital, moderation is key. The recommended dietary intake of copper for adults is around 900 micrograms per day, the expert says. Finding a balance by adding copper-rich foods without overindulging is the golden rule.

In addition to food sources, the use of copper accessories for water storage or consumption can increase copper intake.

What are the side effects of copper?

Although copper is essential, excessive intake can lead to adverse effects. Symptoms of copper toxicity include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Long-term exposure to high copper concentrations can affect liver function.

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