copper foods vegan
Medically reviewed by Sara Osman,RD,PT


Copper is one of the essential trace minerals required for plant, animal and human health.

It is the third most abundant trace metal in the human body, after iron and zinc. [3]

Copper works with iron to help the body form red blood cells. [1,4]

  • Copper is absorbed in the gut and transported to the liver. [3]
  • Copper absorption varies with intake. The absorption rate is around 50% when intake is less than 1 mg/day and less than 20% when consumption is more than 5 mg/day. [2]
  • An average adult has around 50-120 mg of copper reserves and almost two-thirds of the body’s copper is located in the skeleton and muscles. [1,2]
  • It can take several years before copper reserves are depleted from the body. [5]
  • Most copper is excreted in bile and a small amount in urine. [1]
  •  Total faecal losses of copper of biliary origin and non-absorbed dietary copper are about 1 mg/day. [1]

Body Functions

Recommended Daily Intake

how much fibre is recommended daily

Deficiency Symptoms

Copper Food Sources

foods high in copper vegan

Excessive Intake/ Toxicity Side Effects

Groups At Risk of Copper Deficiency

Copper Interaction With Other Nutrients

  • IronHigh iron may interfere with copper absorption in infants. [2,4]
  • Zinc – High dietary zinc intake can interfere with copper absorption and excessive zinc supplements can possibly lead to copper deficiency. [1,2]

Nutrient Profiles For Food Groups

Fruits ( i )

Juice – 0.11 mg
Dried 0.11 mg
Canned – 0.11 mg
Raw or frozen – 0.10 mg

Legumes ( i )

Flour – 1.89 mg
Dry – 0.98 mg
Raw- 0.62 mg
Cooked – 0.26 mg
Canned – 0.19 mg

Nuts & Seeds ( i )

Nuts – 0.88 mg
Seeds – 1.12 mg

Veggies ( i )

Dried – 0.40 mg
Cooked – 0.22 mg
Canned – 0.20 mg
Raw or frozen – 0.18 mg

Cereal grains & Flour ( i )

Raw grains – 0.38 mg
Flour – 0.32 mg
Cooked – 0.11 mg

Oils ( i )

Cooking oil – 0.31 mg
Other edible oils – 0.38 mg


Medically reviewed by Sara Osman,RD,PT

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