You’ve probably heard about iron, zinc, and some other minerals being crucial for your health. Well, add copper to the list as well. Copper is a trace mineral that is essential for your body. A sufficient amount of copper in your body is crucial for keeping cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis at bay.

The trace mineral also has a significant role to play in maintaining the immune system and nerve cells. It also chips in a role in the development of red blood cells. A shortage or excess of copper can culminate in several health issues. These include links to Alzheimer’s disease, Wilson’s disease, and Menkes.

Eating cooper supplement is not vital as they may lead to an imbalance in the amount of copper present in the body. If you’re considering taking a supplement, it is essential that you consult your doctor first. There’s a safer option though.

You can start including foods that have a rich copper content to your diet. So, here we go – a list of cooper-enriched food sources:

1. Oysters

Oysters are a good source of copper. About 3.5 ounces or 100 grams of oysters provides 7.6 mg. That’s 844% of the RDI. These tend to be low in calories and contain several nutrients besides cooper. These include vitamin B12, selenium, and zinc.

Unless you have a rare genetic condition, the dietary cholesterol present in oysters shouldn’t lead to any problem. However, it is best that pregnant women or those with a compromised immune system should avoid eating raw oysters as these come with a risk of food poisoning.

2. Shiitake Mushrooms

These edible mushrooms also provide a rich supply of copper. Four shiitake mushrooms can give you 44 calories and a choke full of nutrients including selenium, zinc, folate, manganese, and vitamins B1, B5, B6, and D. The same number of shiitake mushrooms also offer 89% of the RDI for copper.

3. Raw Kale

Raw Kale has a low fat content so dieters can take it easily. A cup of chopped kale delivers 0.2 grams of fat and 8 calories only. The same amount of chopped kale also gives 1.5 mg of copper, which is 75% of the DV. One way to preserve the copper content of kale is to steam it when cooking the veggie.

4. Seeds

Seeds also offer a significant amount of copper. So, you don’t need to think twice before sprinkling them on your smoothie or salad. Keep in mind that an ounce of sunflower seeds offers 26% of the copper DV.

A similar amount of flaxseeds and watermelon seeds gives 17% and 10% of the DV of copper, respectively. Last but not the least, an ounce of squash and pumpkin seeds delivers 19% of the copper DV.

5. Lobsters

Another seafood on the list is lobster. The lobster meat has an impressive nutritional profile. The meat provides a high protein content and low fat content. Both of these nutrients are packed with minerals and vitamins that include copper, vitamin B12, and selenium.

3 ounces of lobster provides 178% of the RDI. Interestingly, lobsters have a high cholesterol content. However, dietary cholesterol doesn’t have much of an effect on blood cholesterol among several people so eating lobsters shouldn’t be a problem.

6. Dark chocolates

You can also get your copper dose from dark chocolates. These contain several nutrients, fiber, and a significant supply of antioxidants as well. A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate containing 70-85% of the cocoa solids gives 200% of the RDI for copper.

It is also interesting to note that the same amount of dark chocolate delivers 11 grams of fiber and 67% and 98% of the RDI for iron and manganese, respectively. Eating dark chocolates can help you improve numerous risk factors associated with heart disease as well.