Also, do you know how we can easily up our zinc absorbtion or intake without the supplements? Do zinc needs increase with breastfeeding and maybe puberty?
The DRI for zinc for adults males is around 11 and for adult females is 8. And, for many, especially on a vegan or vegetarian diet, it may seem difficult to achieve.
However, if you read the full FAO report on zinc you find out that the actual need is around 4-11 depending on many other factors. I think you may enjoy reading this report.http://www.fao.org/docrep/004/Y2809E/y2809e0m.htm#bm22
So, many of us, who are eating very healthy, may be "aiming' for a DRI of zinc that is not applicable to us and we may need much less.
The EAR, or estimated average requirement for zinc is 9.4 mgs for men and 6.8 mgs for women.
The difference between the 2 is the EAR is closer to the actual need and the RDA has built in buffers, which raise the recommended level to try and cover all the situations of about 98% of the population.
The best way to increase your Zinc intake, if that is your goal, is to increase the food that are the highest in zinc "density" which is the amount of zinc per calorie.
Zinc (Per 100 calories)
Calabash, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt Zinc: 5.4 mg
Endive, raw Zinc: 4.5 mg
Bamboo shoots, cooked, boiled, Zinc: 4.5mg
Bamboo shoots, raw Zinc: 4 mg
Mushrooms, brown, Italian, or Crimini, raw Zinc: 4mg
Alfalfa seeds, sprouted, raw Zinc: 4mg
Squash, zucchini, baby, raw Zinc: 4mg
Chayote, fruit, raw Zinc: 4mg
Broccoli raab, raw [Broccoli rabe, Rapini] Zinc: 3.5mg
Spinach, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt Zinc: 3.5mg
Mushrooms, cooked, boiled, drained, with salt Zinc: 3mg
Asparagus, cooked, boiled, drained Zinc: 3mg
Beans, kidney, red, mature seeds, canned Zinc: 3mg
Beans, adzuki, mature seeds, raw Zinc: 1.5mg
Wild rice, cooked Zinc: 1.5mg
Oat bran, cooked Zinc: 1.5mg
Seeds, pumpkin and squash seed kernels, dried [pepitas] Zinc: 1.5mg
Seeds, sesame seeds, whole, dried Zinc: 1.5mg
Wheat, durum Zinc: 1mg
Rye Zinc: 1mg
Triticale Zinc: 1mg
Oats Zinc: 1mg
Quinoa, cooked Zinc: 1mg
Millet, cooked Zinc: 1mg