Amazing Food High in Vitamin D: 8 Healthy Foods That Are High in Vitamin D

Why does Food High in Vitamin D matter? Well, vitamin D is the only nutrient that your body produces when exposed to sunlight. 

Yet, a majority of the world’s population (50%) may not get enough sun. Moreover, 40% of U.S. residents are deficient in this essential nutrient.[1]

The partial cause of this Vitamin D deficiency is because people spend more time indoors. And, wear sunblock outside, and eat a Western diet low in good sources of this vitamin.

Your daily recommended value (DV) is 800 IU (20 mcg) of vitamin D per day from foods.[2]

Additionally, when you don’t get enough sunlight, your intake should likely be closer to 1,000 IU (25 mcg) per day.

Why is food high in vitamin D important?

Foods high in vitamin D are important because vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body.

And, these are the nutrients that are needed to keep your bones, teeth, and muscles healthy.

Moreover, vitamin d deficiency can cause bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.

8 Healthy food high in vitamin d

Taking your time in the sun is a good way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. 

Yet, sufficient daylight exposure is difficult for many people to get. So here is our list of food high in vitamin d.

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1. Cod liver oil

Cod liver oil is one of the popular modern-day supplements. 

Additionally, for those who don’t like fish, taking cod liver oil can be a key alternative to obtain certain nutrients that are unavailable in other sources.

It is also an excellent source of vitamin D — at about 448 IU per teaspoon (4.9 ml), it gets you a massive 56% of the DV. 

Moreover, It’s been used for many years to prevent and treat deficiency in children.

In addition, Cod liver oil is also an excellent source of vitamin A, with 150% of the DV in just one teaspoon (4.9 ml). 

However, you need to be cautious with cod liver oil, because vitamin A can be toxic in high amounts, make sure to not take too much.

Apart from this cod liver oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which many people are deficient in.

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2. Salmon

This popular fatty fish is an excellent source of vitamin D. 

Additionally, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Composition Database, states that a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of farmed Atlantic salmon contains 526 IU of vitamin D or 66% of the DV. 

Note, whether the salmon is wild or farmed can make a big difference.

However, wild-caught salmon packs 988 IU of vitamin D per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving or 124% of the DV. 

Additionally, few studies have found even higher levels in wild salmon up to 1,300 IU in each serving.

And, farmed salmon contains only 25% of that amount. 

Yet, one serving of farmed salmon provides about 250 IU of vitamin D or 32% of the DV.

3. Tuna

You can have both fresh or canned tuna.  In fact, most of us enjoy canned tuna because of its flavor and easy storage methods.

Which is usually cheaper than buying fresh fish. 

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

In addition, it is also rich in niacin and vitamin K.

Unfortunately, canned tuna contains methylmercury, a toxin found in many types of fish that can cause serious health problems. 

However, light tuna is typically a better choice than white tuna — it’s considered safe to eat up to 6 ounces (170 grams) each week.

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4. Herring and sardines

Now, herring is a fish eaten around the world and is served raw, canned, smoked, or pickled. 

This small fish is the best source of vitamin D, in fact, fresh Atlantic herring provides 216 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, which is 27% of the DV.

You can also have pickled herring which is also an excellent source of vitamin D, providing 112 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, or 14% of the DV.

However, pickled herring also contains a high amount of sodium as well, which some people consume too much of, so keep care of sodium intake.

Sardines are a good source of vitamin D as well, one can (3.8 ounces) of sardines contains 177 IU or 22% of the DV.

The majority of fatty fish are also good vitamin D sources and fishes like Halibut and mackerel provide 384 IU and 360 IU per half a fillet, respectively.

5. Egg ( Especially egg yolks)

So if fish is not your thing, then whole eggs are another good source, as well as a wonderfully nutritious food.

However, most of the protein in an egg is found in the whites, the fat, vitamins, and minerals are found mostly in the yolk.

And here is its vitamin d content: 37 IU of vitamin D, or 5% of the DV.

Although, the levels of Vitamin D in egg yolk depend on sun exposure and the vitamin D content of the chicken feed. 

Yet when the same feed is given to pasture-raised chickens that roam outside in the sunlight produce eggs with levels 3–4 times higher making it a perfect food high in vitamin d.

In addition, if the chickens are given vitamin-D enriched feed, their egg can get up to 6,000 IU of vitamin D per yolk.

So, whether eggs are from chickens raised outside or marketed as food high in vitamin d, it can be a great idea to meet your daily requirements.

6. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are the only good and plant source of vitamin D. And just us mushrooms can also synthesize this vitamin when exposed to UV light.

However, these mushrooms make vitamin D2, whereas animals produce vitamin D3.

Though vitamin D2 helps raise blood levels of vitamin D, it may not be as effective as d 3 vitamin.

Nonetheless, wild mushrooms are excellent sources of vitamin D2 and few varieties of them contain up to 2,300 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving – nearly three times the DV.

Meanwhile, the commercial production of mushrooms is promoted in dark light.

However, certain brands get it treated with ultraviolet and these can provide 130–450 IU of vitamin D2 per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).

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7.  Oysters

Oysters are low in carbohydrates and calories almost 50 calories per serving but are rich in vitamin D. 

Additionally, these are also loaded with the essential nutrient zinc which is important for your immune function.

One, six-oyster serving has around 270 IU of vitamin D and up to 59 milligrams or about 500% of the D of zinc.

8. Fortified food high in vitamin D

Well, if you’re vegetarian or not a fish or seafood lover, 

then there is limited food high in vitamin d for you. 

However, there are some non-natural sources of vitamin d that are fortified with this nutrient. 

Cow’s milk

One of the most commonly consumed types of milk is naturally a good source of many nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin.

In many countries, cow’s milk is fortified with vitamin D and generally contains about 115–130 IU per cup (237 ml), or about 15–22% of the DV.

Orange juice

Now, when around 75% of people worldwide are lactose intolerant, and some other 2–3% have a milk allergy.

This makes the requirement and opportunity to fortify orange juice with vitamin D and other essential nutrients, such as calcium.

Moreover, a 237-ml cup of its fortified version with breakfast can start your day off with up to 100 IU of vitamin D, or 12% of the DV.

Soy milk

Because vitamin D is found almost exclusively in animal products, vegans or vegetarians are at a particularly high risk of vitamin d 3 deficiency.

Fortunately, plant-based milk substitutes like soy milk are often fortified with this nutrient and other vitamins and minerals usually found in cow’s milk.

Additionally, one 237 ml cup of soya milk contains 107–117 IU of vitamin D or 13–15% of the DV.

Cereal and oatmeal

Nowadays, your morning cereals and instant oatmeal are also fortified with vitamin D.

In addition, a 1/2 cup (78 grams) of these foods can provide you 54–136 IU, or up to 17% of the DV.

Although fortified cereals and oatmeal can provide you with less vitamin D than most of the natural sources. Yet You can still use it as food high in vitamin d.

Vitamin D and calcium

Now, when you know and studies suggest that Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium. And it also plays a key role in maintaining bone strength and skeletal integrity.[3]

Getting enough of both vitamin D and calcium is important in maintaining bone health.  

As well as protecting against disorders like osteoporosis, a condition that is characterized by weak, brittle bones.

Adults and children aged 1–70 require approx600 IU of vitamin D per day. And it can come from a combination of food sources and sunlight. 

And adults who are over 70 should aim for at least 800 IU (20 mcg) of vitamin D per day.

The daily calcium requirement also varies by your age. 

                    Age        Daily requirement
                  1–8             2,500 mg 
                  9–18            3,000 mg 
                19–50             2,500 mg 
                50+                 2,000 mg

Conclusion

Now, when you know food high in vitamin d is necessary for your body. It’s time to include some of these food high in vitamin d into your diet. 

Note, getting enough from your diet alone can be difficult, but not impossible.

Eating plenty of these top food high in vitamin d  is a great way to make sure you get enough of this important nutrient.