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The recommended daily amount of iron varies by age and sex. Most people need the following amount of iron each day.footnote 1
Amount of daily iron (mg)
Adult (19 and older)
Adult (ages 51 and older)
Adult (ages 19 to 50)
9 to 10
Adolescents (ages 9 to 18)
8 to 15
8 to 11
Children (ages 1 to 8)
Ages 4 to 8
Ages 1 to 3
Infants (birth to 1 year)
7 months to 1 year
Birth to 6 months
The foods you eat contain nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. Iron is a nutrient. Your body needs the right amount to stay healthy and work as it should. You can use the list below to help you make choices about which foods to eat.
Here are some foods that contain iron. They have 1 to 2 milligrams of iron per serving.
Work with your doctor to find out how much of this nutrient you need. Depending on your health, you may need more or less of it in your diet.
Food and Nutrition Board, et al. (2011). Dietary reference intakes (DRIs): Recommended dietary allowances and adequate intakes, elements. National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK56068/table/summarytables.t3/?report=objectonly. Accessed October 29, 2019.
Current as of:
September 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineRhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Current as of: September 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
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