Recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for different vitamins

Siski Green / 31 March 2016

Find out how much you need to eat of the right foods to make sure you're getting the vitamins you need.



Most multivitamins contain more vitamins that your daily recommended amount but there’s absolutely no evidence that taking more than that amount is good for you so why spend the extra cash when you can get the right amount of vits from delicious healthy meals instead?

Vitamin A

RDA: 0.7mg for men, 0.6mg for women

60g of cheddar cheese contains 0.233mg (or 233µg), a teaspoon of butter contains 0.133mg add 30g of spinach and you’ve got just a little more than what you need each day.

What’s more, just one carrot can give you nearly your whole day’s need with 0.782mg. With that, you’ve also got lots of heart-healthy fibre and liquid too. 

Related: How vitamin A affects your health

Vitamin D

RDA: 0.01mg

Around 80% of vitamin D is made by your body when you’re exposed to sunlight, so aim for getting 20-25 minutes on your bare hands and arms (legs too if possible) per day.

Other sources include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel – just 100g will give you what you need for the day.

Related: Learn more about the role vitamin D plays in health

Vitamin E

RDA: 4mg for men, 3mg for women

A tablespoon of sunflower seeds in your morning porridge will give you 5.7mg, or add a handful (5) of walnuts at 3.8mg, or almonds (10, at 3.1mg) or at lunchtime, half an avocado (1.6mg) in your salad with some sunflower oil (a tablespoon will give you 6mg), and you’re all set for the day. 

Nuts also contain monounsaturated fat which are healthy and will help satisfy your appetite. 

Related: The health benefits of vitamin E

Vitamin C

RDA: 40mg

An orange needn’t be the only food you turn to when trying to up your vitamin C intake. While an orange contains 46mg of the vitamin, a tomato does pretty well at 30mg, and a red pepper will give you a whopping 240mg. You’ll also receive lots of healthy antioxidants if you add any of those fruits or vegetables to your daily meals. 

Related: How vitamin C affects your health

Vitamin B1 (thiamin)

RDA: 1mg for men, 0.8mg for women

While lean pork will give you a solid 1.12mg of thiamin (100g), you might think about getting your thiamin from sunflower seeds instead (1.48mg in 100g) or even via peas, which contain 0.28mg per 100g. 

Related: Vitamin B1 and how it affects your health

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

RDA: 1.3mg for men, 1.1mg for women

Delicious cheese is your friend when it comes to B2, with 100g giving you 1.38mg. Almonds will give you 1.10mg (100g) so if you’re eating almonds anyway for your vitamin e (see above), then you’ll get both at once.

Spinach gives you a good dose of this vitamin too, with 0.24mg. Eggs and oily fish such as mackerel are also good providers of this vitamin along with others, so worth keeping in mind too. 

Related: Find out more about vitamin B2

Vitamin B3 (niacin)

RDA: 17g for men, 13mg for women

Fish is an excellent source of the B3 vitamin (niacin) and it’ll also give you B6 (see below), too.

Just 100g of tuna gives you 22.1mg, but you can also go for chicken or turkey (14.8mg), mushrooms (6.3mg) or green peas for extra fibre too (2.1mg). 

Related: How does Niacin affect your health? Find out more

Vitamin B6

RDA: 1.4mg for men, 1.2mg for women

Delicious pistachio nuts contain lots of B6, with 100g giving you 1.12mg. Eat a small handful to give your daily amount or if you prefer have some tuna or turkey for lunch.

Tuna contains 1.04mg per 100g and turkey has 0.81mg per 100g.

If you’ve eaten spinach to get your vitamin A fix, see above, you’ll also handily be getting a good dose of B6 as 100g of the green stuff contains 0.24mg. 

Related: Learn how vitamin B6 affects your health

Vitamin B12

RDA: 0.0015mg

A boiled egg will give you 0.0006mg, a nice start to the day, and if you add just a little shellfish to your lunchtime soup, you’ll get all you need – 100g of clams, for example, contains 0.0989, so you only need a little.

Mackerel or smoked salmon is also a good source with 0.19mg in 100g, so again, a cracker with a little mackerel pate is probably enough.

Related: Find out how vitamin B12 benefits your health

*  1 microgram, or µg, is equal to 0.001mg, for milligrams. Converting to international units is more difficult as the conversion rates varies depending on the vitamin being converted. And some vitamins simply aren’t listed in international units (such as vitamins B3, B6 and B12, for example). If in doubt, consult your chemist who should be able to clarify the amounts for you.

NB If your doctor has prescribed you extra vitamins,  do not stop taking them until you have consulted them. These recommended amounts are for otherwise healthy people.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.