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Mineral Sources and Serving Sizes for a Healthy Diet

This table is a handy guide to dietary sources of minerals and trace elements your body needs. Because a healthful, varied diet provides sufficient quantities of these nutrients, there are no entries for the essential trace elements — chromium, fluoride, iodine, molybdenum, and selenium.

This chart is the easy way to figure out which foods (and how much) provide at least 25 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for healthy adults ages 25 to 50.

Foods and Serving Sizes
Food Serving
CALCIUM and PHOSPHORUS RDA: Calcium — men and women 1,000 mg; Phosphorus — men and women 700 mg
Bran muffin, English muffin 2 whole
Broccoli, spinach, turnip greens (cooked) 1 cup
Natural Gruyère, Romano, Swiss, Parmesan cheeses 1 ounce
Processed cheddar or Swiss cheeses 1 1/2 ounces
Natural blue, brick, Camembert, feta, Gouda, Monterey, mozzarella, Muenster, provolone, Roquefort cheeses 2 ounces
Ricotta cheese 1/2 cup
Ice cream/ice milk 1 cup
Milk — all varieties, including chocolate 1 cup
Yogurt — all varieties 1 cup (8 ounces)
Tofu 1/2 cup, cubed
MAGNESIUM RDA: Men 400-420 mg,* women 310-320 mg*
Bread — whole wheat 4 slices
Bran muffin, English muffin, pita — whole wheat 2 whole
Cold cereal 2 ounces
Artichoke 2 medium
Black-eyed peas, chickpeas, soybeans, white beans (dry, cooked) 1 cup
Milk — chocolate, made with skim milk 2 cups
Yogurt — plain nonfat 2 cups
Nuts and seeds 2 tbsp.
Tofu 1/2 cup cubed
IRON RDA: Men 8 mg, women 18 mg, 8 mg*
Bagel, bran muffin, pita 2 whole
Farina, oatmeal — instant, fortified 1/3 cup
Cold cereal 1 ounce
Apricots (dried, cooked) 1 cup
Black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils, red and white beans (dried, cooked) 1 cup
Soybeans (cooked) 1/2 cup
Liver — beef, pork 3 ounces
Liver — chicken, turkey 1 cup, diced
Clams (raw) — meat only 3–4 ounces
Oysters (raw) — meat only 1–2 ounces
Pine nuts, seeds — pumpkin or squash 4 tbsp.
ZINC RDA: Men 11 mg, women 8 mg
Cold cereals — fortified 2 ounces
Beef — all varieties, lean 3 ounces
Lamb — all varieties, lean 3 ounces
Tongue (braised) 3 ounces
Veal — roast, lean only 3 ounces
Chicken (no skin) 2 legs
Oysters 3 ounces
Yogurt — all varieties 2 cups
Seeds — pumpkin or squash 4 tbsp.
COPPER AI: Men and women 900 mg.
Barley (cooked) 1/3 cup
Bran muffin, English muffin, pita 2 whole
Prunes (dried, cooked) 1 cup
Black-eyed peas, lentils, soybeans (cooked) 1 cup
Liver — beef, calf 3 ounces
Liver — chicken, turkey 1/2 cup, diced
Crabmeat, lobster, oysters, shrimp 3 ounces
Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts/filberts, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, mixed nuts 4 tbsp.
Seeds — pumpkin, sesame, squash, sunflower 4 tbsp.

*The lower numbers are for people age 19-30; the higher numbers, for people age 31+. Good Sources of Nutrients (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Human Nutrition Service, 1990); Nutritive Value of Food (Washington, D.C.: USDA, 1991); DRI reports 1998-2004.

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