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Getting Enough Iron

Table of Contents


What is the recommended daily amount of iron?

The recommended daily amount of iron varies. Most people need the following amount of iron each day.1

Recommended daily amount of iron from food



Amount of daily iron


Ages 19 and older

Ages 19 to 50 (who menstruate)

8 mg.

18 mg.


Ages 14 to 50

27 mg.


Ages 14 to 18

Ages 19 to 50

10 mg.

9 mg.


Ages 9 to 13

Ages 14 to 18

Ages 14 to 18 (who menstruate)

8 mg.

11 mg.

15 mg.


Ages 1 to 3

Ages 4 to 8

7 mg.

10 mg.


Birth to 6 months

7 to 12 months

0.27 mg.

11 mg.

What foods are high in iron?

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.




Meats and other protein foods

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.



  1. Food and Nutrition Board, et al. (2011). Dietary reference intakes (DRIs): Recommended dietary allowances and adequate intakes, elements. National Institutes of Health. Accessed October 29, 2019.

Credits for Getting Enough Iron

Current as of: March 1, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator

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