9 Vitamin D–Rich Foods to Add to Your Diet

9 Vitamin D–Rich Foods to Add to Your Diet

When you are exposed to sunshine, your body creates only one nutrient: vitamin D.

However, up to 50% of the world’s population may be low in vitamin D, and 40% of Americans are vitamin D deficient.

This is due in part to individuals spending more time indoors, using sunscreen outside, and eating a Western diet deficient in rich sources of vitamin D.

The recommended daily intake (DV) of vitamin D from foods is 800 IU (20 mcg).

If you don’t receive enough sunshine, your daily vitamin D consumption should be closer to 1,000 IU (25 mcg).

Here are 7 vitamin D-rich foods to add to your diet.

1. Sardines and herring

Herring is a fish that is consumed all over the world. It comes in a variety of forms, including raw, canned, smoked, and pickled.

This little fish is a good source of vitamin D as well.

Fresh Atlantic herring has 216 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, or 27% of the daily value.

If fresh fish isn’t your style, pickled herring is an excellent alternative, with 112 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) meal, or 14 percent of the daily value.

Pickled herring, on the other hand, includes a significant level of salt, which some individuals take in excess.

Sardines in cans are also a rich source of vitamin D, with one can (3.8 ounces) containing 177 IU, or 22% of the daily value.

Other kinds of fatty fish are also rich providers of vitamin D. Per half a fillet, halibut and mackerel supply 384 IU and 360 IU, respectively.

2. Salmon

Salmon is a popular fatty fish that also happens to be a good source of vitamin D.

According to the Food Composition Database of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of farmed Atlantic salmon contains 526 IU of vitamin D, or 66 percent of the daily value.

The difference between wild and farmed salmon can be significant.

Wild-caught salmon has an average of 988 IU of vitamin D per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, or 124 percent of the daily value. In certain investigations, wild salmon has been found to contain even greater amounts of IU, up to 1,300 IU per meal.

Farmed salmon, on the other hand, only has 25% of that amount. Even yet, one serving of farmed salmon contains roughly 250 IU of vitamin D, or 32% of the daily value.

3. Oil from cod livers

A common supplement is cod liver oil. If you don’t like fish, cod liver oil can help you get some nutrients that you wouldn’t get from other sources.

It’s a great source of vitamin D, with roughly 448 IU per teaspoon (4.9 ml), or 56 percent of the daily value. It has been used to prevent and cure deficiency in youngsters for many years.

Cod liver oil is very high in vitamin A, providing 150 percent of the daily value in just one teaspoon (4.9 ml). Vitamin A, on the other hand, can be harmful in large doses.

As a result, use caution when using cod liver oil and avoid taking too much.

4. Canned tuna

Many people enjoy canned tuna because of its flavor and easy storage methods.

It’s also usually cheaper than buying fresh fish.

Canned light tuna packs up to 268 IU of vitamin D in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, which is 34% of the DV.

It’s also a good source of niacin and vitamin K.

Unfortunately, canned tuna contains methylmercury, a toxin found in many types of fish. If it builds up in your body, it can cause serious health problems .

However, some types of fish pose less risk than others. For instance, light tuna is typically a better choice than white tuna — it’s considered safe to eat up to 6 ounces (170 grams) per

5. yolks of eggs

Those who do not consume seafood should be aware that it is not the only source of vitamin D. Whole eggs are another excellent source, as well as a nutrient-dense meal.

While the white of an egg has the majority of the protein, the yolk contains the majority of the fat, vitamins, and minerals.

One egg yolk contains 37 IU of vitamin D, or 5% of the daily value.

Sun exposure and the vitamin D content of chicken feed influence vitamin D levels in egg yolk. When fed the same diet, pasture-raised hens who are allowed to free outside in the sun lay eggs that are 3–4 times richer in protein.

Additionally, eggs from chickens given vitamin-D-enriched feed may have up to 6,000 IU of vitamin D per yolk. That’s a whopping 7 times the DV .

Choosing eggs either from chickens raised outside or marketed as high in vitamin D can be a great way to meet your daily requirements.

6. Mushrooms


Mushrooms are the only good non-animal source of vitamin D, excluding fortified foods.

When exposed to UV radiation, mushrooms, like humans, can produce this vitamin.

Mushrooms, on the other hand, create vitamin D2, whereas mammals produce vitamin D3.

Although vitamin D2 can assist enhance vitamin D levels in the blood, it is not as efficient as vitamin D3.

Wild mushrooms, on the other hand, are high in vitamin D2. In fact, some types contain as much as 2,300 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, which is approximately three times the daily value (30).

Commercially cultivated mushrooms, on the other hand, are frequently grown in the dark and contain very little D2.

Certain brands, however, are treated with ultraviolet radiation (UV light). In 3.5 ounces (100 grams), these mushrooms can give 130–450 IU of vitamin D2.

7. Orange juice with added vitamins and minerals might help you start your day off right.

9 Vitamin D–Rich Foods to Add to Your Diet
9 Vitamin D–Rich Foods to Add to Your Diet

The NIH suggests checking the label for specific quantities because counts can vary. One cup (8 fl oz) of fortified orange juice can contribute up to 137 IU of vitamin D to your daily intake. Serve a glass of orange juice with breakfast or use it to make this tasty and portable mango-strawberry smoothie. Keep in mind that it’s normally healthier to consume whole fruit rather than juice, since the former still includes satisfying fiber, thus juice should be used in moderation. If you have a health condition that requires you to limit your carbohydrate and sugar intake, such as diabetes, getting your vitamin D from another source may be preferable. Work with your healthcare team to figure out how much, if any, OJ is right for your diet.

8. Foods with added nutrients

Vitamin D is hard to come by in nature, especially if you’re a vegetarian or don’t eat seafood.
Fortunately, certain dietary products that lack vitamin D naturally are fortified with the substance.

Milk from a cow

Cow’s milk, the most prevalent form of milk, is a natural source of calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin, among other minerals.

Cow’s milk is supplemented with vitamin D in numerous countries. It typically contains around 115–130 IU per cup (237 ml), or 15–22% of the daily value.

Milk made from soy beans

Vegetarians and vegans are especially at danger of not obtaining enough vitamin D because it is nearly solely contained in animal products.

As a result, plant-based milk alternatives such as soy milk are frequently fortified with this nutrient as well as other vitamins and minerals present in cow’s milk.

One cup (237 ml) of vitamin D generally contains 107–117 IU, or 13–15 percent of the daily value.

Cereal and oatmeal

Certain cereals and instant oatmeal are also fortified with vitamin D.

Half a cup (78 grams) of these foods can provide 54–136 IU, or up to 17% of the DV .

Though fortified cereals and oatmeal provide less vitamin D than many natural sources, they can still be a good way to boost your intake.

9. Fortified Yogurt Makes for a Gut-Healthy Snack

Yogurt is a handy and pleasant snack that is also nutritious when eaten plain or with fresh fruit. This type of dairy is high in probiotics that are healthy for your stomach, and choosing a fortified variety can save you between 10% and 20% of your daily vitamin D intake, depending on the brand. Many fortified types are flavored (which means they’re almost certainly sugar bombs), so check the nutrition label to see what you’re getting. The American Heart Association advises that males consume no more than 9 teaspoons (tsp) or 26 grams of added sugar per day, and women consume no more than 6 teaspoons (tsp) or 25 grams of added sugar per day.

Try cooking a meal with plain yogurt for a vitamin D–enhanced entrée: This Middle Eastern–style chopped vegetable salad includes greens, herbs, and grains and also uses a cup of plain yogurt. It is a cooling alternative to a hot dish.

Calcium and vitamin D

Vitamin D is required for calcium absorption, which is important for maintaining bone strength and skeletal integrity.

Getting adequate vitamin D and calcium is important for maintaining bone health and preventing diseases like osteoporosis, which is characterized by weak, brittle bones.

Vitamin D is required by children and people aged 1 to 70, and it may be obtained by a mix of diet and sunshine. Adults over the age of 70 should consume at least 800 IU (20 mcg) of vitamin D every day.

The daily value (DV), which is a rating system used on food labels, is 800 IU per day.

Calcium requirements differ according on age. Children ages 1–8 require about 2,500 mg of calcium per day, whereas those ages 9–18 require around 3,000 mg.

Adults between the ages of 19 and 50 require roughly 2,500 mg per day, with those over 50 requiring just 2,000 mg per day.

Last but not least

A smart approach to acquire your daily dosage of vitamin D is to spend time in the sun. Many people, however, find it difficult to get enough sun exposure.

It may be difficult, but not impossible, to get enough from your diet alone.

The foods mentioned in this article are among the best sources of vitamin D.

Consuming a variety of vitamin D-rich foods is an excellent approach to ensure that you get enough of this vital mineral.

Tags: vitamins

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