Eating these vitamin D-rich foods will ensure that you get your daily dose of “sun vitamin”.
Problem: Vitamin D is not present in many foods
You get almost everything you need for vitamin D by basking in sunlight for about 10–15 minutes at a time a few times a week. This is because this vital bone-strengthening vitamin is the only one the body produces itself. “However, with office work and the increased use of sunscreen, it’s not always possible to get enough vitamin D through sunlight,” says nutritionist Wesley McWhorter, who works as a chef and nutritionist at the UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston, Texas. While there aren’t many foods that contain vitamin, these tips will help make sure you get enough vitamin.
According to McWhorter, in addition to fortified foods, mushrooms are the only plant-based food that contains vitamin D. Like humans, mushrooms also produce vitamin only when exposed to daylight, so indoor mushrooms may have very little vitamin. If you planned to get vitamin D from mushrooms, Berkeley experts recommend making sure they are exposed to UV light or sunlight (some companies specifically promote this feature; although vitamin D levels vary, for some fungal species you can get the full daily dose from a single dose of mushrooms).
Cod liver oil
One spoonful of cod liver oil contains up to 1,300 IU of vitamin D — more than any of the other foods on this list. It is also rich in omega-3 acids and vitamin A. “Keep in mind, though, that it’s always a better idea to eat food than to rely on one supplement,” McWhorter recalls.
Oysters are surprisingly high in nutrients such as vitamin D and B12, copper, zinc and selenium, and are low in calories (about 57 calories in six oysters). Six oysters contain about 300 IU of vitamin D, or even more, depending on the type of oyster.
Fatty fish (such as salmon, halibut, cod and tuna) are one of the best sources of vitamin D, says McWhorter. The 85 gram fillet has 154–566 International Units (IU), which can help you reach the 600 IU daily target recommended by experts.
Eggs are also a source of vitamin D, especially their yolks — in fact, all the vitamin D in the egg is packaged in the yolk. “It’s definitely still worth eating the whole egg because it gets so many other nutrients,” says McWhorter. One large egg contains about 40 IU of vitamin D.
One way to get the recommended daily dose of vitamin D is to eat fortified foods such as milk, cereals, and orange juice with added vitamin D (check the label). Some of these may contain up to 100 IU of vitamin D. However, keep in mind that getting foods fortified with vitamins D can have its downsides. Choose cereals that are high in fiber and low in sugar and don’t rely on getting the vitamins you need from each juice. “It’s always better to eat food than drink juice because juices don’t make fiber and they may have too much sugar,” says McWhorter