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U.S. Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for Minerals

Mineral Function and Food Sources

NUTRIENT

FUNCTIONS

SOURCES

Calcium

  • Bone formation
  • Enzyme reactions
  • Muscle contractions
  • Dairy products
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Beans

Iron

  • Hemoglobin formation
  • Muscle growth and function
  • Energy production
  • Lean meat
  • Beans
  • Dried fruit
  • Some green leafy vegetables

Magnesium

  • Energy production
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Nerve conduction
  • Grains
  • Nuts
  • Meats
  • Beans

Sodium

  • Nerve impulses
  • Muscle action
  • Body fluid balance
  • Table salt
  • Small amounts in most fruit except fruit

Potassium

  • Body fluid balance
  • Muscle action
  • Glycogen and protein synthesis
  • Bananas
  • Orange juice
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

Zinc

  • Tissue growth and healing
  • Immunity
  • Gonadal development
  • Meat
  • Shellfish
  • Oysters
  • Grains

Copper

  • Hemoglobin formation
  • Energy production
  • Immunity
  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Dried Fruit
  • Shellfish

Selenium

  • Antioxidant
  • Protects against free radicals
  • Enhances vitamin E
  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Grains

Chromium

  • Part of glucose tolerance factor-helps insulin
  • Whole grains
  • Meat
  • Cheese

Manganese

  • Bone and tissue development
  • Fat synthesis
  • Nuts
  • Grains
  • Beans
  • Tea
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

Iodine

  • Regulates metabolism
  • Iodized salt
  • Seafood

Fluoride

  • Formation of bones and tooth enamel
  • Tap water
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Rice
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce

Phosphorus

  • Builds bones and teeth
  • Metabolism
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Dairy products
  • Carbonated drinks

To find the DRI for a specific nutrient, click here.

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