Adult (age 50 and older)
Adult (ages 19 to 50)
9 mg to10 mg
Adolescents (ages 9 to 18)
8 mg to15 mg
8 mg to11 mg
Children (birth to age 8)
Ages 4 to 8
Ages 1 to 3
Infants (7 months to 1 year)
Infants (birth to 6 months)
You can get iron from many foods. Beef and turkey are good sources of iron from meat or animal protein. Beans are good sources of iron from plants. Iron from meat is absorbed by your body more fully than iron from plants. Some foods can decrease the amount of iron that your body will absorb. But meat and vitamin C can help your body absorb more iron from plants. Ask your doctor or registered dietitian about how to be sure you are getting enough iron.
Iron–fortified foods include cereals.
¾ cup (175 mL)
Ground meat (beef, lamb), cooked
2½ oz (75 mg)
Potato with skin, cooked
½ cup (125 mL)
30 g (check label for serving size)
Oatmeal (instant), cooked
Pasta, egg noodles, enriched, cooked
Health Canada (2005). Dietary reference intakes: Reference values for elements. Available online: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/reference/table/ref_elements_tbl-eng.php.
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.
Health Canada (2008). Nutrient value of some common foods. Ottawa: Health Canada. Also available online: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/fiche-nutri-data/nutrient_value-valeurs_nutritives-eng.php.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerRhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes EducatorColleen O'Connor, PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian
Current as ofMarch 29, 2018
Current as of: March 29, 2018
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
& Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator & Colleen O'Connor, PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian
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