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Food Sources for Vitamins and Minerals

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, you're probably looking for the bottom line: How much do you need, and what foods have them? The list below will help you out. It covers all the vitamins and minerals you should get, preferably from food.

 

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Calcium

Foods that have it: Milk, fortified nondairy alternatives like soy milk, yogurt, hard cheeses, fortified cereals, kale

How much you need:

  • Adults ages 19-50: 1,000 milligrams per day
  • Women age 51 and older: 1,200 milligrams per day
  • Men age 51 and older: 1,000 milligrams per day

What it does: Needed for bone growth and strength, blood clotting, muscle contraction, and more

Don't get more than this much: 2,500 milligrams per day for adults age 50 and younger, 2,000 mg per day for those 51 and older

 

Choline

Foods that have it: Milk, liver, eggs, peanuts

How much you need:

  • Men: 550 milligrams per day
  • Women: 425 milligrams per day
  • Pregnant women: 450 milligrams per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 550 milligrams per day

What it does: Helps make cells

Don't get more than this much: 3,500 milligrams per day

 

Chromium

Foods that have it: Broccoli, potatoes, meats, poultry, fish, some cereals

How much you need:

  • Men ages 19-50: 35 micrograms per day
  • Women ages 19-50: 25 mcg per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 30 micrograms per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 45 micrograms per day
  • Men age 51 and up: 30 micrograms per day
  • Women age 51 and up: 20 micrograms per day

What it does: Helps control blood sugar levels

Don't get more than this much: No upper limit known for adults

 

Copper

Foods that have it: Seafood, nuts, seeds, wheat bran cereals, whole grains

How much you need:

  • Adults: 900 micrograms per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 1,000 micrograms per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 1,300 micrograms per day

What it does: Helps your body process iron

Don't get more than this much: 10,000 micrograms per day for adults

 

Fiber

Foods that have it: Plant foods, including oatmeal, lentils, peas, beans, fruits, and vegetables

How much you need:

  • Men ages 19-50: 38 grams per day
  • Women ages 19-50: 25 grams per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 28 grams per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 29 grams per day
  • Men age 51 and up: 30 grams per day
  • Women age 51 and up: 21 grams per day

What it does: Helps with digestion, lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol, helps you feel full, and helps maintain blood sugar levels

Don't get more than this much: No upper limit from foods for adults

 

Fluoride

Foods that have it: Fluoridated water, some sea fish

How much you need:

  • Men: 4 milligrams per day
  • Women: 3 milligrams per day. This includes pregnant or breastfeeding women.

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