Vitamin D rich Foods: Vitamin D plays an important role in the development of strong bones and muscles, as well as boosting your immune system to prevent illness, so it’s vital that you are consuming foods that are rich in this nutrient on a regular basis. Without healthy levels of vitamin D, your body will be unable to process calcium properly, which could result in brittle bones and joint pains that can seriously impact your daily life.
Luckily, there are plenty of foods you can eat to increase your daily intake of vitamin D while also boosting your overall health. Here are 10 healthy foods that are rich in vitamin D.
List of 10 Healthy Foods That Are Rich in Vitamin D
- Dairy Products.
- Cereals and Granola Bars.
- Fortified Milk.
Eggs not only offer a dose of protein and other nutrients, but they’re also a great source of vitamin D. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that, on average, Americans don’t get enough vitamin D, and adequate intake … is [also] low among young children and adolescents … who represent future generations. Getting enough vitamin D can help support bone health and immunity.
People who consume high levels of vitamin D have lower mortality rates from all types of cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. Research also shows a correlation between a higher intake of vitamin D and a lower risk for lung cancer. Fish is one of the best sources of natural vitamin D, making it a good choice if you want to improve your immunity while reducing your risk for disease.
The liver can’t be beaten when it comes to vitamin D content. One three-ounce serving has nearly 1,000 IU of vitamin D—more than you need in a day. Other good sources include beef, salmon, and sardines. These vitamin D-rich foods also help support your immunity and bone health. They’re not bad for nutrition, either!
Mushrooms, especially portabella and shiitake varieties, can be a great source of vitamin D. A 3-ounce serving provides about 20 percent of your daily needs. This is a great source of vitamin D rich food for vegetarians.
Other ways to get your vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon, sardines and tuna as well as egg yolks, liver, and fortified cereals. You’ll also find vitamin D in cod liver oil and a few other foods such as cheese, margarine and some brands of orange juice.
You might think of tuna as a protein source, but it’s also a rich source of vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D varies by type, with light tuna providing 15 mcg and canned albacore averaging 220 mcg per 3-ounce serving. If you don’t like fish, you can also get vitamin D from egg yolks (just be sure to limit your egg yolk intake if you’re watching your cholesterol).
It’s no surprise that salmon is rich in vitamin D, with a 4-ounce serving offering about 68 percent of your daily value. The importance of vitamin D goes beyond bone health: A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found those with higher levels of vitamin D were significantly less likely to die from infections, including influenza. In another study published in Nutrients, researchers noted lower rates of asthma and allergy symptoms among children who had a high intake of fish oil.
7) Dairy Products
Dairy products like cheese, milk and yogurt provide a rich source of vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for strong immunity, calcium absorption and healthy bone development. A cup of milk contains approximately 100 international units (IU) of vitamin D; you can find similar amounts in yogurt or other dairy products like hard cheeses or kefir.
For greater immunity, just consume three servings of dairy products each day. If you’re lactose intolerant, speak to your doctor about taking supplements instead.
8) Cereals and Granola Bars
Many people don’t think to check cereal boxes for nutritional information, but cereals and granola bars often contain vitamin D. Wheaties and Special K have about 10% of your daily value for vitamin D, while most granola bars have less than 1%. Unless you’re snacking on these regularly, however, you probably shouldn’t rely on them as your sole source of vitamin D.
9) Fortified Milk
Fortified milk is one of your best sources of vitamin D. It’s also an excellent source of calcium, which helps keep bones healthy. Additionally, milk contains phosphorus and riboflavin, two nutrients that help boost immunity.
For example, research has found a link between high levels of riboflavin and a reduced risk of developing respiratory infections. Aim to drink three servings per day for optimal bone health and disease prevention.
Cheese is particularly high in vitamin D; just 1 ounce of cheddar cheese has about 20% of your daily vitamin D needs. While you might consider cheese unhealthy due to its high-fat content, if you choose a healthier variety such as 2 percent milk, part-skim mozzarella, or reduced-fat Swiss cheese, it can be a great source of key nutrients.
In addition to providing vitamin D, consuming calcium is essential for building and maintaining strong bones; good sources include skim milk and yogurt.
Pro Tips: Sunlight (Natural Source of Vitamin D3)
The best and most effective way to get vitamin D is to let your skin bask under natural sunlight. The sun’s ultraviolet rays trigger vitamin D production, which results in a significant amount of the vitamin being stored in your body’s fatty tissue.
Your risk of developing a number of deadly diseases can also be reduced with regular exposure to sunlight—including various types of cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Our bodies need vitamin D to keep our immunity, bones, and metabolism healthy. Although vitamin D deficiency isn’t common, it is possible, especially if you live far from a sunny coast or never go outside.
To make sure you’re getting enough of these healthy fats into your diet, it may be time to stock up on some of these essential vitamin-D foods and herbs. Here are 10 foods rich in vitamin D to add to your diet right now!