Harvard Health Letter

RDAs, food sources for selected vitamins and minerals

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for selected nutrients commonly displayed on food labels

Micronutrient Vitamin A
(mcg*/day)
Vitamin C
(mg**/day)
Potassium
(mg**/day)
Calcium
(mg**/day)
Iron
(mg**/day)
For women >51 years
700
75
4,700
1,000-1,200
8
For men >51 years
900
90
4,700
1,000-1,200
8

* mcg = micrograms; **mg = milligrams
Source: Institute of Medicine

Selected food sources of vitamin A

Food Vitamin A (micrograms)
Carrots, sliced, boiled, 1/2 cup
1,069
Spinach, frozen, boiled, 1/2 cup
573
Kale, frozen, boiled, 1/2 cup
956
Apricots with skin, juice packed, 1/2 cup
207
Mango, sliced, 1 cup
89
Milk, fortified, skim, 8 ounces
149
Egg, hard-boiled, 1 large
203
Cheese, cheddar, 1 ounce
350

Source: Institute of Medicine

Selected food sources of vitamin C

Food Vitamin C (milligrams)
Red sweet pepper, raw, 1/2 cup
142
Kiwi fruit, 1 medium
70
Orange, 1 medium
70
Green sweet pepper, raw, 1/2 cup
60
Grapefruit juice, 3/4 cup
50-70
Vegetable juice cocktail, 3/4 cup
50
Strawberries, 1/2 cup
49

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

Selected food sources of calcium

Food Calcium (milligrams)
Yogurt, plain, 1 cup
415
Cheddar cheese, 1 ounce
306
Milk, nonfat, 1 cup
302
Yogurt, fruit, low-fat, 1 cup
245-384
Orange juice, calcium-fortified, 6 ounces
200-260
Tofu, firm, made with calcium sulfate, 1/2 cup
204
Salmon, pink, canned, with bones, 3 ounces
181
Cottage cheese, 1% milk fat, 1 cup
138
Spinach, cooked, 1/2 cup
120
Chinese cabbage, raw, 1 cup
74

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

Selected food sources of iron

Food Iron (milligrams)
Raisin Bran, 1 cup
18.7
White beans, canned, 1 cup
17.8
Boiled spinach, 1 cup
6.4
Raw oat bran, 1 cup
5.0
Boiled soybeans, 1 cup
4.5
Canned lima beans, 1 cup
4.3
Boiled peas, 1 cup
3.8
Stewed tomatoes, canned, 1 cup
3.3
Canned prune juice, 1 cup
3.0
Lean bottom round steak, 3 ounces
2.4

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

Selected food sources of potassium

Food Potassium (milligrams)
Sweet potato, baked, 1 medium
694
Tomato paste, 1/4 cup
664
Baked potato, without skin, 1 medium
610
White beans, canned, 1/2 cup
595
Yogurt, plain, low-fat, 8 ounces
531
Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces
490
Soybeans, green (edamame), cooked, 1/2 cup
485
Yellowfin tuna, cooked, 3 ounces
484
Banana, 1 medium
422
Spinach, cooked, 1/2 cup
419
Milk, nonfat, 1 cup
382
Apricots, dried, 1/4 cup
378

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference