Nutrient Recommended Daily Allowances and Common Food Sources

Folic Acid

A "B" vitamin used to make new cells. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body before she is pregnant, it can help prevent major birth defects of her baby's brain and spine.

Recommended Daily Allowance for Ages 19-50
Women: 400 mcg
Men: 400 mcg

Common Food Sources
Leafy vegetables; legumes; liver; yeast breads; wheat germ; fortified cereals; and enriched grain products such as breads, flour, crackers, corn grits cornmeal, farina, rice, macaroni and noodles

 

Cobalamin

Also known as Vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin the body needs to manufacture red blood cells; it stimulates appetite, promotes growth and releases energy.

Recommended Daily Allowance for Ages 19-50

Women: 2.4 mcg 
Men: 2.4 mcg

Common Food Sources 
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and dairy products

 

Calcium

Helps build and maintain bones and teeth, regulate muscle tone and heartbeat, initiates blood clotting, assists in transporting chemicals across cell membranes, and helps the functions of protein, hormones and enzymes.

Recommended Daily Allowance for Ages 19-50

Women: 1,000 mg
Men: 1,000 mg

Common Food Sources
Milk; yogurt; cheese; dark-green leafy vegetables such as kale, bok choy and broccoli; fish with edible bones; and calcium-fortified soy milk

 

Iron 

A trace mineral stored in your muscle tissue. It helps build strong bones and teeth, and helps maintain a regular heartbeat. Iron keeps you red blood cells healthy so they can transport oxygen from your lungs to your tissues.

Recommended Daily Allowance for Ages 19-50

Women: 18 mg
Men: 8 mg

Common Food Sources
Beef liver, beef, chicken, pork, salmon, fortified cereals, pumpkin seeds, bran, molasses, soybean nuts, spinach, kidney beans, lima beans, prune juice, enriched rice and whole-wheat bread

 

Zinc

An essential mineral found in almost every cell, stimulating the activity of 100 enzymes. Zinc supports a healthy immune system, is needed for wound-healing, helps maintain your sense of taste and smell, and is needed for DNA synthesis. Zinc supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence.

Recommended Daily Allowance for Ages 19-50

Women: 8 mg
Men: 11 mg

Common Food Sources 
Beef, wheat germ, crab, wheat bran, tofu, sunflower seeds, black-eyed peas, almonds, milk, peanut butter, tuna, eggs and whole-wheat bread

 

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is known as the clotting vitamin, because without it blood would not clot.

Recommended Daily Allowance for Ages 19-50

Women: 90 mg
Men: 120 mg

Common Food Sources
Spinach, broccoli, eggs, wheat bran, wheat germ, milk, strawberries and oranges

 

Thiamin 

Also known as Vitamin B1, a water-soluble vitamin that processes carbohydrates, fat and protein. Every cell of the body requires thiamin to form the fuel the body runs on. Nerve cells require thiamin to function normally.

Recommended Daily Allowance for Ages 19-50

Women: 1.1 mg
Men: 1.2 mg

Common Food Sources
Beef liver; pork; enriched grain products such as bread, rice, pasta and tortillas; and fortified cereals

 

Riboflavin

Also known as Vitamin B2, a water-soluble vitamin needed by the body to process amino acids and fats, activate vitamin B6 and folic acid, and help convert carbohydrates into the fuel the body runs on.

Recommended Daily Allowance for Ages 19-50

Women: 1.1 mg
Men: 1.3 mg

Common Food Sources
Milk; yogurt; eggs; organ meats such as liver, kidneys and heart; enriched bread and other grain products; green leafy vegetables; and nuts

 

Niacin

Also known as Vitamin B3, a water-soluble vitamin the body needs to release energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins you eat. Niacin is necessary for healthy skin, nerves and digestive system.

Recommended Daily Allowance for Ages 19-50

Women:14 mg
Men: 16 mg

Common Food Sources
Poultry, fish, beef, peanut butter, enriched and fortified grain products, and legumes

 

Pyridoxine

Pyridoxine balances women's hormonal changes, and assists the immune system and the growth of new cells. It also is used in the processing and metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, while assisting with controlling mood and behavior.

Recommended Daily Allowance for Ages 19-50

Women: 1.3 mg
Men: 1.3 mg

Common Food Sources 
Chicken, fish, pork, liver, kidneys, whole grains, nuts and legumes

 

Vitamins

Vitamins are any of several organic substances that usually are separated into water-soluble -- the B vitamins and vitamin C -- and fat-soluble -- vitamins A, D, E and K -- groups. They are essential for our normal health and growth. The substances commonly known as vitamins are widely diverse in chemical structure and function. Originally defined as organic compounds, obtainable in a normal diet and capable of maintaining life and promoting growth, vitamins are distinct from carbohydrates, fat, and proteins in function, as well as in the quantities in which we require them.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays an important role in vision, bone growth, reproduction, cell division and cell differentiation. It helps maintain the surface linings of the eyes and the respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts. Vitamin A helps maintain the integrity of skin and mucous membranes. Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system.

Recommended Daily Allowance for Ages 19-50

Women: 700 mg
Men: 900 mg

Common Food Sources
Liver, fish oil, eggs, milk fortified with Vitamin A, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, mango, turnip greens, spinach, papaya, red bell peppers, apricots, cantaloupe, tomatoes and broccoli

 

Vitamin C

Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and a powerful antioxidant. It is needed to make collagen for muscles and blood vessels. It is important for wound-healing and acts as a natural antihistamine. It helps in the formation of liver bile and helps the body fight viruses.

Recommended Daily Allowance for Ages 19-50

Women: 75 mcg
Men: 90 mcg

Common Food Sources
Oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, berries, melons, peppers, dark-green leafy vegetables, potatoes and tomatoes

 

Vitamin D 

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for maintaining normal calcium metabolism.

Recommended Daily Allowance for Ages 19-50

Women: 5 mcg
Men: 5 mcg

Common Food Sources
Cheese, eggs, sardines, salmon, fortified breakfast cereals and margarine

 

Vitamin E 

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that protects vitamin A and essential fatty acids from oxidation in the body cells and prevents breakdown of body tissues.

Recommended Daily Allowance for Ages 19-50

Women: 15 mg
Men: 15 mg

Common Food Sources
Almonds, wheat germ, peanut butter, corn oil and spinach