Vitamin D is a type of nutrient that the body produces when a person’s skin has exposure to direct sunlight. People can also consume vitamin D, but it is not naturally present in many foods. High quantities of vitamin D are present in oily fish and certain types of mushrooms.
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), the key benefit of vitamin D is that it helps keep a person’s bones, muscles, and nerves healthy. It also contributes to a healthy immune system.
It is present in egg yolks if the chickens laying them are free-range. Some mushrooms also contain vitamin D.
However, no other plant-based foods produce vitamin D. For people whose diets are mostly vegetarian or vegan, and for people who do not or cannot spend a lot of time outdoors, it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D.
If a person has concerns that they are not getting enough vitamin D from direct sunlight, consuming the following foods will help increase the overall amount they have in their bodies.
Why are vitamin D rich diets so rare today?
1.It wasn’t until recently, that we began to understand that vitamin D is synthesized by exposure to the sun.
2.Strong bones and teeth need vitamin D. The osteo-immune system is hungry for vitamin D to control hormonal signaling for your bones and immune system.
3.Vitamin D deficiency is thought to increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
4.Low-fat diets have stripped vitamin D from the diet. The trend in the last 50 years to eat low-fat foods
5.Vitamin D is linked to many chronic diseases including digestive, auto-immune, and mental conditions.
Salmon is a popular fatty fish and a great source of vitamin D.
According to the USDA Food Composition Database, one 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of salmon contains between 361 and 685 IU of vitamin D .
However, it’s usually not specified whether the salmon was wild or farmed. This may not seem important, but it can make a big difference.
On average, wild-caught salmon packs 988 IU of vitamin D per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, or 165% of the RDI. Some studies have found even higher levels in wild salmon — up to 1,300 IU per serving .
However, farmed salmon contains only 25% of that amount. Still, a serving of farmed salmon provides about 250 IU of vitamin D, or 42% of the RDI.
Oily fish, as well as oils from fish, have some of the highest quantities of vitamin D in food sources.
These may include:
*Cod liver oil: This contains 450 international units (IU) per teaspoon, which is 75 percent of a person’s recommended daily allowance (RDA).
*Herring: This contains 306 IU per fillet, dry-cooked, which is 51 percent of a person’s RDA.
*Swordfish: This contains 706 IU per piece, dry-cooked, which is 117 percent of a person’s RDA.
If a person does not like fish, or if they are vegetarian or vegan, specific mushrooms may be an option. Some types of mushroom contain high amounts of vitamin D.
*Raw maitake mushrooms: These contain 562 IU per 50 grams (g), which is 94 percent of a person’s RDA.
*Dried shiitake mushrooms: These contain 77 IU per 50 g, which is 12 percent of a person’s RDA.
Mushrooms with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can also contain large amounts of vitamin D. These may include:
*UV-exposed raw Portobello mushrooms: These contain 568 IU per 50 g, which is 95 percent of a person’s RDA.
*UV-exposed raw white mushrooms: These contain 523 IU per 50 g, which is 87 percent of a person’s RDA.
People who don’t eat fish should know that seafood is not the only source of vitamin D. Whole eggs are another good source, as well as a wonderfully nutritious food.
While most of the protein in an egg is found in the white, the fat, vitamins and minerals are found mostly in the yolk.
One typical egg yolk from chickens raised indoors contains 18–39 IU of vitamin D, which isn’t very high .
However, pasture-raised chickens that roam outside in the sunlight produce eggs with levels 3–4 times higher .
Additionally, eggs from chickens given vitamin D-enriched feed have up to 6,000 IU of vitamin D per yolk. That’s a whopping 10 times the RDI .
Choosing eggs either from chickens raised outside or marketed as high in vitamin D can be a great way to meet your daily requirements.
Organ meats are one of the rare food sources rich in vitamin D. They contain the full range of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K2 as well as B-Vitamins, minerals, and nutrients not found in other foods. Eating more organ meats may seem unpalatable to some (I find it takes some getting used to and certain recipes make it delicious). However, if you think you’ll struggle, here’s a desiccated beef liver supplementsourced from grass-raised Argentinian Cows. They allow a food-based way to get your daily dose of vitamin D.
Spending time out in the sun is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. However, sufficient sun exposure is difficult for many people to achieve.
Getting enough from your diet alone may be difficult, but not impossible.
The foods listed in this article are some of the top sources of vitamin D available.
Eating plenty of these vitamin-D-rich foods is a great way to make sure you get enough of this important nutrient.