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Foods High in Vitamin D & Iron

author image Connie Peete
Connie Peete is a writer specializing in personal finance and health topics. She holds an associate's degree in secretarial science and information processing from the Bryant & Stratton Business Institute.
Foods High in Vitamin D & Iron
Salmon is a good source of iron and vitamin D.

Iron and vitamin D are essential nutrients to ensure that your blood, cells, bones and muscles remain in good health. Iron is crucial for the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. It is also part of proteins that are also involved in the transport of oxygen, namely hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carry oxygen to the tissues, and myoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen to the muscles. Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption and regulating blood calcium levels. It is also crucial for strong bones and teeth. A healthy diet includes foods rich in iron and vitamin D.

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Recommended Adult Intake

According to the National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements website, the daily recommended amounts of vitamin D for healthy adults age 19 to 50 is 5 micrograms; 10 mcg for persons ages 51 to 70; and 15 mcg for persons 71 and older. Pregnant and breastfeeding women ages 14 to 50 should get 5 mcg of vitamin D in their diet. The daily recommended iron intake is 18 mg or women age 19 to 50; 8 mg for women 51 and older; and 8 mg for men 19 and older. A pregnant or breastfeeding woman may require more iron and should ask her doctor how much iron she needs.

Foods With Iron

Dietary iron comes in two forms: heme and nonheme. Heme iron is present in animal goods, such as fish, poultry and red meat, and is better absorbed in the body. Nonheme iron is present in plant foods, such as beans and lentils, and is also the form added to iron-fortified or enriched foods. Excellent sources of iron include liver, lean red meat, egg yolks, salmon, tuna, and oysters. Sources of nonheme iron include legumes, such as dried beans and peas, raisins and prunes, kidney beans, soybeans, spinach, collard, kale and dandelion greens, broccoli and whole grains.

Foods With Vitamin D

Most people get vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. However, the foods most rich in vitamin D are tuna, salmon, mackeral and fish liver oils. Other sources with small amounts of vitamin D are cheese, egg yolks and beef liver. You can get vitamin D by eating vitamin D-fortified foods, such as milk, ready-to-eat cereals, yogurt and fruit juices.

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