Dietary Sources of Vitamins Your Body Needs

Food delivers higher quality vitamins and nutrients than supplements do. The following table gives you the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for adult men and women (ages 19 to 50) plus food portions that give you at least 25 percent of the recommended dietary allowances of vitamins for healthy adult men and women, ages 25 to 50.

Servings That Provide at Least 25% of the RDA
Food Serving = 25% of the RDA
VITAMIN A RDA: Women 4,000 IU, Men 5,000 IU*
Oatmeal — instant, fortified 2 1/3 cup
Cold cereal 1 ounce
Apricots (dried, cooked) 1/2 cup
Cantaloupe (raw) 1/2 cup
Mango (raw) 1/2 medium
Carrots, kale, peas and carrots, sweet red pepper (all cooked) 1/2 cup
Liver — chicken, turkey 1/2 cup (diced)
Milk — low-fat, skim 2 cups
VITAMIN D RDA: Women 5 mcg/200 IU, Men 5 mcg/200 IU
Salmon (canned) 1 1/2 ounces
Tuna (canned) 2 ounces
Eggs 3 medium
Milk — enriched 1 cup
VITAMIN E RDA: Women 15 mg a-TE**, Men 15 mg a-TE
Cold cereal 1 ounce
Wheat germ — plain 2 tbsp.
Apricots, peaches (canned) 1 cup
Greens (cooked) — dandelion, mustard, turnip 1 cup
Shrimp 3 ounces
Almonds, hazelnuts/filberts 2 tbsp.
Peanut butter 2 tbsp.
Sunflower seeds 2 tbsp.
VITAMIN C RDA: Women 75 mg, Men 90 mg***
Cold cereal 1 ounce
Cantaloupe 1/2 cup, diced
Grapefruit 1/2
Mango (raw) 1/2 medium
Orange 1 medium
Strawberries 1/2 cup
Grape, orange, or tomato juice 1/4 cup
Asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, sweet peppers, snow peas (cooked) 1/2 cup
Sweet potato 1 medium
Liver — beef, pork 3 ounces
THIAMIN (VITAMIN B1) RDA: Women 1.1 mg, Men 1.2 mg
Bagel, English muffin, roll 2 whole
Bread 4 slices
Farina, grits 1/2 cup
Oatmeal — instant, fortified 1/3 cup
Cantaloupe, honeydew 1 cup
Corn, peas, peas and carrots (cooked) 1 cup
Ham — roast, smoked, cured, lean 3 ounces
Liver — beef, pork 3 ounces
Pork — all varieties except sausage 3 ounces
Sunflower seeds (hulled, unroasted) 2 tbsp.
RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2) RDA: Women 1.1 mg, Men 1.3 mg
Bagel, English muffin, pita 2 whole
Cold cereal 1 ounce
Liver — beef, calf, pork 3 ounces
Liver — chicken, turkey 1/2 cup, diced
Liverwurst 1 ounce
Milk — all varieties 2 cups
Yogurt — low-fat, nonfat 1 cup
NIACIN RDA: Women 14 mg NE, Men 16 mg NE
Bagel, bran muffin, English muffin, pita, roll 2 whole
Cold cereal — fortified 1 ounce
Lamb, pork, veal — lean 3 ounces
Liver — beef, calf, pork 3 ounces
Chicken (no skin) 3 ounces (1/2 breast)
Mackerel, mullet, salmon, swordfish 3 ounces
Peanuts, peanut butter 4 tbsp.
VITAMIN B6 RDA: Women 1.3 mg, Men 1.3 mg
Oatmeal — instant, fortified 1/3 cup
Cold cereal 1 ounce
Banana (raw) 1 medium
Prunes (dried, cooked) 1 cup
Plantain (boiled) 1 medium
Chicken (roasted, no skin) 1/2 breast
Lamb — lean only 1 chop
Liver — beef 3 ounces
FOLATE RDA: Women 400 mcg, Men 400 mcg
Whole wheat English muffin, pita 2 whole
Cold cereal 1 ounce
Asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, creamed corn, spinach (cooked) 1 cup
Beans (dry, cooked) — black-eyed peas, lentils, red kidney 1/2 cup
Greens (cooked) — mustard, turnip 1 cup
Liver — beef, calf, pork 3 ounces
VITAMIN B12 RDA: Women 2.4 mcg, Men 2.4 mcg
Beef, pork, lamb, veal 3 ounces
Liver — beef, calf, pork 3 ounces
Liver — chicken, turkey 1/2 cup, diced
Catfish, crabmeat, croaker, lobster, mackerel, mussels, oysters, scallops, swordfish, trout, tuna 3 ounces
Eggs 2 large
Milk — whole, low-fat, skim 2 cups
Yogurt 2 cups
Food Serving (mg)
CHOLINE Adequate Intake: Women 425 mg, Men 550 mg
Grape juice (canned) 8 ounces (13 mg)
Cauliflower (cooked) 1 cup (55 mg)
Potato (baked) 1 medium (18 mg)
Beef (cooked) 3 ounces (59 mg)
Liver (cooked) — beef 3 ounces (453 mg)
Eggs 1 large (200–300 mg)
Milk — whole 8 ounces (10 mg)
Peanut butter 2 tbsp. (26 mg)

* Although these remain the “official” RDAs, newer recommendations are 900 mcg RE/3,000 IU (International Units) per day for men and 700 mcg RE/2,300 IU per day for women (the IU amounts are rounded off).

** a-TE stands for alpha-tocopherol equivalent.

*** The Food and Nutrition Board is debating whether to raise the RDA for vitamin C to 200 mg for both men and women. “Good Sources of Nutrients” (Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Human Nutrition Service, 1990); “Nutritive Value of Food” (Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1991).

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