Yes, nuts, beans, and whole grains can provide zinc, though the best source is lean red meats and shellfish. About ½ cup of nuts provides ½ the amount of zinc most women need (1/3 the amount for men) each day. (Note though that this would be roughly 350 calories.) Wheat germ and sunflower seeds are other plant options. Zinc is important in many molecular processes, including cell function and stability, growth, and immune function.