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How much dietary iron is recommended each day?

Recommended daily amounts of iron from food 1


8 mg


Adult (age 50 and older)

8 mg

Adult (ages 19 to 50)

18 mg


27 mg


9 mg to 10 mg

Adolescents (ages 9 to 18)


8 mg to 15 mg


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 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.

Meat and poultry 2
Serving size Iron (mg)

Beef (ground)

3 oz

2 mg


3 oz

1 mg


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


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

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

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