Nutrients play a vital role in helping us lead healthy lives. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is a metric widely followed today in many parts of the world. This metric prescribes the quantum needed to be taken for meeting the need for various essential nutrients. Read on for more insights into Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and how it differs between genders, age groups, etc.

Intake of nutrients at an optimal level is a prerequisite for healthy living. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is an average measure for consumption of key nutrients, and is not a prescription for any medical condition. On the other hand, medical conditions necessitate intake of a mineral or nutrient at a larger proportion than normal. For instance, consumption of more amounts of vitamin C is helpful to fight lung related problems. Hence, RDA is not a treatment plan. In simple terms, it is what experts consider as the right quantum of intake for maintaining wellbeing and overall health.

Essential nutrients and the quantum of their intake are listed below; for easy reference, each of these nutrients is detailed one after another.

Recommended Dietary Allowance of Nutrients Chart for Men

Recommended Dietary Allowance of Nutrients for Women


#1. Calories
These are energy units or nutritional energy values. As per the food and agriculture organization (FAO), basic level of energy needed per individual stands at 1,800 kCal.

#2. Proteins
Proteins are essentially amino acid chains. It is derived from foods rich in proteins. Such protein foods are digested to make them into amino acids.

#3. Vitamin A
These vitamins help in building your immunity as well as eye health. Deficiency of this essential vitamin can cause blindness, especially among children and younger adults.

#4. Vitamin D
These essential vitamins help in the development of bones. Inadequacy of vitamin D can soften bones and may cause a medical condition called rickets; this condition is however is not rampant in advanced nations.

#5. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is basically an antioxidant. It plays a key role in avoiding risks associated with cell damage. This vitamin also helps boost overall wellbeing.

#6. Vitamin K
This vitamin helps blood to coagulate as well as aids the absorption of calcium onto your bones.

#7. Vitamin C
This vitamin plays a key role in oral health (helps avoid conditions like scurvy and gum conditions). It also boosts immune health and enables proper functioning of enzymes.

#8. Thiamin
This is an essential substance for fetal health and lactating mothers. It is also a key substance that can help develop brain functions of babies.

#9. Riboflavin
This belong to the vitamin B family. It is an essential ingredient to catalyse respiration at the cell-level.

#10. Niacin
It is type of vitamin B3. It is taken for its ability to control the level of low-density lipoproteins (also known as bad cholesterol) in your blood.

#11. Vitamin B6
This vitamin plays a key role in enzyme-level reactions. This vitamin is also essential for the development of cognitive function.

#12. Folate
It is a form of vitamin B9; it helps in division of cells and in the making of RNA & DNA. Folate also enables metabolism of amino acids.

#13. Vitamin B12
It boosts nerve health and also helps in the building of blood cells (especially red cells) in your bone marrow.

#14. Calcium
This mineral plays a major role in health of teeth and bones. It also boosts cardiac health as well as the wellbeing of your central nervous system.

#15. Phosphorous
It is an essential mineral. It is needed for repair of cells and tissues. It is useful in filtering of waste as well as elimination. Excessive consumption of alcohol may bring down phosphorous levels.

#16. Magnesium
Most foods rich in fiber contain magnesium. This mineral boosts health of bones as well as helps avoid problems associated with bowel movements.

#17. Iron
This mineral helps to make red blood cells. Hemoglobin – an item present in red cells – carries oxygen all over your body. Deficiency of iron can trigger conditions like anemia.

#18. Zinc
Zinc is integral to the functioning of your ovaries and testes. It also helps in catalysing growth-related glands.

#19. Iodine
Iodine boosts the functioning of your thyroid gland. Deficiency of this mineral can impair the thyroid, and may also enhance the risks of autoimmune diseases such as cancer in the thyroid gland.

#20. Selenium
It is endowed with antioxidant capabilities, and can prevent repair of cells. Selenium is also believed to boost the health of your prostate.

You can see that these daily Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) values vary across age groups, gender and other factors such as pregnancy, lactation, etc. Many variables have been considered while arriving at these values such as level of physical and mental activities, average height and weight, amid several others.

You are advised to talk to your dietician to build a balanced diet plan that suits your physical conditions as well as lifestyle. A properly balanced diet plan will ensure to sustain and build your immunity levels, apart from healthy wellbeing.


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