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)
Ages 14 to 50
Ages 14 to 18
Ages 19 to 50
Ages 9 to 13
Ages 14 to 18
Ages 14 to 18 (who menstruate)
Ages 1 to 3
Ages 4 to 8
Birth to 6 months
7 to 12 months
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.
- Figs (dried), 5 figs
- Asparagus (canned), 6 spears
- Collard, beet, Swiss chard, or turnip greens, 1 cup
- Dried peas, cooked, ½ cup
- Seaweed, spirulina (dried), ¼ cup
- Spinach, (cooked) ½ cup or (raw) 1 cup
- Cereals, fortified with iron, 1 cup
- Grits (instant, cooked), fortified with iron, ½ cup
Meats and other protein foods
- Beans (kidney, lima, navy, white), canned or cooked, ½ cup
- Beef or lamb, 3 oz
- Chicken giblets, 3 oz
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), ½ cup
- Liver of beef, lamb, or pork, 3 oz
- Oysters (cooked), 3 oz
- Sardines (canned), 3 oz
- Soybeans (boiled), ½ cup
- Tofu (firm), ½ cup
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: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator