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    Getting Enough Iron

    Getting Enough Iron

    Topic Overview

    How much dietary iron is recommended each day?

    Recommended daily amounts of iron from food 1
    Men

    Adult

    8 mg

    Women

    Adult (age 50 and older)

    8 mg

    Adult (ages 19 to 50)

    18 mg

    Pregnant

    27 mg

    Lactating

    9 mg to 10 mg

    Adolescents (ages 9 to 18)

    Girls

    8 mg to 15 mg

    Boys

    8 mg to 11 mg

    Children (birth to age 8)

    Ages 4 to 8

    10 mg

    Ages 1 to 3

    7 mg

    Infants (7 months to 1 year)

    11 mg

    Infants (birth to 6 months)

    0.27 mg

    What foods are high in iron?

    You can get iron from many types of food made from animals and plants. Beef and turkey are good sources of iron from meats. Beans are good sources of iron from plants.

    Iron-fortified foods includes cereals.

    Meat and poultry 2
      Serving size Iron (mg)

    Beef (ground)

    3 oz

    2 mg

    Chicken

    3 oz

    1 mg

    Turkey

    3 oz

    1 mg-2 mg

    Fruits and vegetables 2
      Serving size Iron (mg)

    Beans (cooked or canned)

    1 cup

    1 mg-5 mg

    Potato (baked)

    1 medium

    2 mg

    Raisins

    1 cup

    3 mg

    Spinach (cooked)

    1 cup

    6 mg

    Cereals and grains 2
      Serving size Iron (mg)

    Cereals (iron-fortified, ready to eat)

    1 cup

    4 mg-18 mg

    Oatmeal (instant)

    1 cup

    4 mg

    Rice (white, enriched)

    1 cup

    3 mg

    References

    Citations

    1. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine (2011). Dietary reference intakes (DRIs): Recommended dietary allowances and adequate intakes, elements. Available online: http://iom.edu/Activities/Nutrition/SummaryDRIs/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/New%20Material/2_%20RDA%20and%20AI%20Values_Vitamin%20and%20Elements.pdf.
    2. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (2012). Nutrient data laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 25. Available online: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov.

    Credits

    By Healthwise Staff
    Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
    Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
    Last Revised January 25, 2013

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