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Vitamins & Minerals Chart

Here's a chart to help you out. It gives you a rundown of all the vitamins and minerals you should get -- preferably from food -- along with details on a couple of other important nutrients and electrolytes.

Note that the recommended amounts of these vitamins and minerals are listed in three different ways: grams, milligrams, and micrograms.

Vitamin or Mineral

Examples of Good Food Sources

What It
Does

Recommended Daily Amount
(RDA) or Adequate

Upper Limit
(The Highest Amount You Can Take Without Risk

Calcium

Milk, yogurt, hard cheeses, fortified cereals, spinach

Essential for bone growth and strength, blood clotting, muscle contraction, and the transmission of nerve signals

Adults age 19-50: 1,000 milligrams/day

Adults age 51 and up: 1,200 milligrams/day

2,500 milligrams/day

Choline (Vitamin B complex)

Milk, liver, eggs, peanuts

Plays a key role in the production of cells and neurotransmitters

Men: 550 milligrams/day

Women: 425 milligrams/day

Pregnant women: 450 milligrams/day

Breastfeeding women: 550 milligrams/day

3,500 milligrams/day

Chromium

Meats, poultry, fish, some cereals

Helps control blood sugar levels

Adult men age 19-50: 35 micrograms/day

Adult men age 51 and up: 30 micrograms/day

Adult women age 19-50: 25 micrograms/day

Adult women age 51 and up: 20 micrograms/day

Pregnant women: 30 micrograms/day

Breastfeeding women: 45 micrograms/day

Unknown

Copper

Seafood, nuts, seeds, wheat bran cereals, whole grains

Important in the metabolism of iron

Adults: 900 micrograms/day Pregnant women: 1,000 micrograms/day Breastfeeding women: 1,300 micrograms/day

10,000 micrograms/day

Fiber

Bran cereal, peas, lentils, black beans, fruits, vegetables

Helps with digestion and the maintenance of blood sugar levels; reduces the risk of heart disease

Adult men age 19-50: 38 grams/day Adult men age 51 and up: 30 grams/day Adult women age 19-50: 25 grams/day Adult women age 51 and up: 21 grams/day Pregnant women: 28 grams/day Breastfeeding women: 29 grams/day

None

Fluoride

Fluoridated water, some sea fish, some toothpastes and mouth rinses

Prevents the formation of tooth cavities and stimulates the growth of bone

Adult men: 4 milligrams/day Adult women (including pregnant and breastfeeding): 3 milligrams/day

10 milligrams/day

Folic Acid (Folate)

Dark, leafy vegetables; enriched and whole grain breads; fortified cereals

Key for the development of cells, protein metabolism and heart health; in pregnant women, helps prevent birth defects

Adults: 400 micrograms/day Pregnant women: 600 micrograms/day Breastfeeding women: 500 micrograms/day

1,000 micrograms/day

Iodine

Processed foods and iodized salt

Important in the production of thyroid hormones

Adults: 150 micrograms/day Pregnant women: 220 micrograms/day Breastfeeding women: 290 micrograms/day

1,100 micrograms/day

Iron

Fortified cereals, beans, lentils, beef, eggs

Key component of red blood cells and many enzymes

Men: 8 milligrams/day Women age 19-50: 18 milligrams/day Women age 51 and up: 8 milligrams/day Pregnant women: 27 milligrams/day Breastfeeding women: 9 milligrams/day

45 milligrams/day

Magnesium

Green leafy vegetables, Brazil nuts, almonds, soybeans, halibut, quinoa

Helps with heart rhythm, muscle and nerve function, bone strength

Adult men age 19-30: 400 milligrams/day Adult men age 31 and up: 420 milligrams/day Adult women age 19-30: 310 milligrams/day Adult women age 31 and up: 320 milligrams/day Pregnant women: 350-360 milligrams/day Breastfeeding women: 310-320 milligrams/day

For magnesium in food and water, there is no upper limit.

For magnesium in supplements or fortified foods: 350 milligrams/day

Manganese

Nuts, beans and other legumes, tea, whole grains

Important in forming bones and some enzymes

Men: 2.3 milligrams/day Adult women: 1.8 milligrams/day Pregnant women: 2.0 milligrams/day Breastfeeding women: 2.6 milligrams/day

11 milligrams/day

Molybdenum

Legumes, grains, nuts

Key in the production of some enzymes

Adults: 45 micrograms/day Pregnant and breastfeeding women: 50 micrograms/day

2,000 micrograms/day

Phosphorus

Milk and other dairy products, peas, meat, eggs, some cereals and breads

Allows cells to function normally; helps the body produce energy; key in bone growth

Adults: 700 milligrams/day

Adults up to age 70: 4,000 milligrams/day Adults over age 70: 3,000 milligrams/day Pregnant women: 3500 milligrams/day Breastfeeding women: 4,000 milligrams/day

Potassium

Sweet potato, bananas, yogurt, yellow fin tuna, soybeans

Important in maintaining normal fluid balance; helps control blood pressure; reduces risk of kidney stones

Adults: 4,700 milligrams per day Breastfeeding women: 5,100 milligrams/day

Unknown

Selenium

Organ meats, seafood, some plants (if grown in soil with selenium) Brazil nuts.

Protects cells from damage; regulates thyroid hormone

Adults: 55 micrograms/day Pregnant women: 60 micrograms/day Breastfeeding women: 70 micrograms/day

400 micrograms/day

Sodium

Foods to which sodium chloride (salt) has been added, like salted meats, nuts, butter, and a vast number of processed foods

Important for fluid balance

Adults age 19-50: 1500 milligrams/day Adults age 51-70: 1,300 milligrams/day Adults age 71 and up: 1,200 milligrams/day

2,300 milligrams/day

Vitamin A

Sweet potato with peel, carrots, spinach, fortified cereals

Necessary for normal vision, immune function, reproduction

Men: 900 micrograms/day Women: 700 micrograms/day

3,000 micrograms/day

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Whole grain, enriched, fortified products; bread; cereals

Allows the body to process carbohydrates and some protein.

Men: 1.2 milligrams/day Women: 1.1 milligrams/day Pregnant and breastfeeding women: 1.4 milligrams/day

Unknown

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Milk, bread products, fortified cereals

Key in metabolism and the conversion of food into energy; helps produce red blood cells

Men: 1.3 milligrams/day Women: 1.1 milligrams/day Pregnant Women: 1.4 milligrams/day Breastfeeding Women: 1.6 milligrams/day

Unknown

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Meat, fish, poultry, enriched and whole grain breads, fortified cereals

Assists in digestion and the conversion of food into energy; important in the production of cholesterol

Men: 16 milligrams/day Women: 14 milligrams/day Pregnant Women: 18 milligrams/day? Breastfeeding women: 17 milligrams/day

For niacin in natural sources, there is no upper limit.

For niacin in supplements or fortified foods: 35 milligrams/day

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Chicken, beef, potatoes, oats, cereals, tomatoes

Important in fatty acid metabolism

Adults: 5 milligrams/day Pregnant women: 6 milligrams/day Breastfeeding women: 7 milligrams/day

Unknown

Vitamin B6

Fortified cereals, fortified soy products, organ meats

Important for the nervous system; helps the body metabolize proteins and sugar

Men age 19-50: 1.3 milligrams/day Men age 51 up: 1.7 milligrams/day Women age 19-50: 1.3 milligrams/day Women age 51 up: 1.5 milligrams/day Pregnant women: 1.9 milligrams/day Breastfeeding women: 2 milligrams/day

100 milligrams/day

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Liver, fruits, meats

Helps with the synthesis of fats, glycogen and amino acids

Adults: 30 micrograms/day Breastfeeding women: 35 micrograms/day

Unknown

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Fish, poultry, meat, fortified cereals

Important in the production of red blood cells

Adults: 2.4 micrograms/day Pregnant women: 2.6 micrograms/day Breastfeeding women: 2.8 micrograms/day

Unknown

Vitamin C

Red and green peppers, kiwis, oranges, strawberries, broccoli

Antioxidant that protects against cell damage, boosts the immune system, forms collagen in the body

Men: 90 milligrams/day Women: 75 milligrams/day Pregnant women: 85 milligrams/day Breastfeeding women: 120 milligrams/day

2,000 milligrams/day

Vitamin D (Calciferol)

Fish liver oils, fatty fish, fortified milk products, fortified cereals; also, formed naturally as a result of sunlight exposure

Crucial in metabolizing calcium for healthy bones

Adults age 18-50: 5 micrograms/day Adults age 51-70: 10 micrograms/day Adults over age 70: 15 micrograms/day Pregnant and breastfeeding women: 5 micrograms/day

50 micrograms/day

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)

Fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, peanut butter, vegetable oils

Antioxidant that protects cells against damage

Adults (including pregnant women): 15 milligrams/day Breastfeeding women: 19

1,000 milligrams/day

Vitamin K

Green vegetables like spinach, collards, and broccoli; brussels sprouts; cabbage

Important in blood clotting and bone health

Men: 120 micrograms/day

___

Women (including pregnant and breastfeeding): 90 micrograms/day

Unknown

Zinc

Red meats, some seafood, fortified cereals

Supports the body's immunity and nerve function; important in reproduction

Men: 11 milligrams/day

___

Women: 8 milligrams/day Pregnant women: 11 milligrams/day Breastfeeding women: 12 milligrams/day

40 milligrams/day