What is it? Copper is an essential trace element, meaning your body needs to consume it through your diet.
Why you need it: It’s essential for a healthy brain, heart and bones, stimulates the immune system and fights damaging free radicals.
Most mushrooms are packed with copper but for a maximum hit, eat shiitakes. Just four of them will provide 0.6mg of the element, which is a third of your daily requirement. They’re also very high in vitamin B5, which is needed to break down fats, carbs and protein.
Seafood, especially shellfish, is seriously rich in copper. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends you consume approximately 1-3mg of copper a day, and you’ll hit this target by eating six oysters, which will provide around 2.4mg.
Just 20g of beef liver will provide all of the WHO’s recommended daily copper intake. What’s more, liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods going, with high levels of other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and the Bs, and zinc and selenium.
A 30g serving of cashew nuts contains around 30% of your recommended daily intake of copper. That makes them the number one nut for copper content, although hazelnuts, brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans and pine nuts are all good alternative options.
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