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Sunlight is essential for a healthy body. It helps the body to produce Vitamin D which further strengthens your bones and protects you from many diseases. If you do not get much exposure to the sun, then you need foods that are high in Vitamin D. This post lists out some of the best Vitamin D foods for your good health. ~ Ed.
Vitamin D is vital to your health. Your body needs this essential vitamin to absorb calcium and encourage bone health.
You also need Vitamin D for the immune system and neuromuscular system regulation, and it’s a key component in the life cycle of the cells in your body.
Because this nutrient is so important, your body is designed to make vitamin D on its own, but it can only do so after exposure to sufficient sunlight.
However, with today’s modern lifestyle of indoor work and hobbies, sunscreen use to prevent skin cancer, and even swing shift work, it’s very difficult for most people to get enough vitamin D.
It is vitamin D that sets you up for complications such as rickets and misshapen bones, various cancers, depression, and heart disease.
Luckily, there are several healthy and delicious foods available that can give your body the vitamin D boost it craves without sun exposure.
9 Foods High in Vitamin D
Now that you know that Vitamin D-rich foods are vital for good health, here’s a list of the top foods high in vitamin D.
High amounts of vitamin D in fish is well documented, along with many other nutrients like omega-3, but the top of the taste and vitamin concentration charts is everyone’s favorite pink-fleshed fish, salmon.
Nutrition databases list the vitamin D in salmon at about 361 IU to 685, depending on a few factors, such as whether the fish was wild-caught or farmed. Though considered a fatty fish, don’t let that word scare you.
This is the good kind of fat—the kind that allows fat-soluble nutrients to be absorbed into your body.
The ever-popular shrimp is both high in vitamin D and low in fat, though they can be high in cholesterol, so moderation is key for shrimp consumption. Shrimp are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and contain a significant amount of potassium.
With their low-calorie count and delicious flavor, saying ′′yes′′ to a serving of shrimp each week is a great idea for most healthy diets.
Halibut is a popular flatfish with a power-packed nutritional profile. With 559% of the daily value of vitamin D in a single serving, you know you’re getting a great boost to your health.
Add to that impressive number a healthy dose of potassium, vitamin B-6, and magnesium, and you’ve made a great choice for your healthy lifestyle as well as satisfied taste buds.
Much like their seafood cousins, oysters are near the top of our vitamin D rich food list. Low calorie and high in vitamin B12 and zinc, oysters provide an impressive 320 IU of vitamin D.
Either fresh, pickled, or smoked, herring is an excellent source of vitamin D. If you choose the smoked or pickled variety, be mindful of your sodium intake, as these types are fairly high in sodium.
Whole eggs are another food packed with not only vitamin D, but a long list of other nutrients essential for a healthy body.
While you’ll get wonderful health benefits from any eggs, pasture-raised chickens that have been allowed to forage and roam free will lay eggs much higher in vitamin D, up to four times as much!
So, sunlight and a varied diet aren’t just good for humans—chickens benefit, too, and then pass those benefits on to us.
Mushrooms have the honor of being the only plant that provides a substantial amount of vitamin D, and then only if they have been exposed to sunlight.
Much like humans beings, mushrooms can synthesize their own vitamin D with sun exposure, so buying fresh from local wild sources is best. Commercially grown mushrooms are usually not given sunlight, but a few producers use UV lights. Be sure to check!
Dairy and Soy Milk
Cow’s milk is high in calcium, and as we discussed earlier, vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. For this reason, cow’s milk is fortified with it.
For lactose intolerant people or those opposed to drinking cow’s milk, soy milk is often fortified with vitamin D as well.
Canned tuna is one of those convenient wonders of the modern world. Stored easily with no power, and ready to eat straight from the can, tuna also has an impressive list of dietary benefits.
A 3.5 ounce serving of light canned tuna comes in at about 236 IU of vitamin D, and it provides many of the same nutrients as the other fish listed here.
What about Vegetables High in Vitamin D or Fruits High in Vitamin D
Sorry, veggie lovers, but vitamin D is a picky nutrient. There are no substantial fruit or vegetable sources of Vitamin D.
It is, however, possible to find vitamin D-fortified fruit and vegetable juices and purees, and there are always cereals and dairy products if your diet allows.
Fortified cereals and instant oatmeal are great choices for those who dislike seafood or who are looking for a wider variety of vitamin D-rich foods. The amount per serving will vary, so be sure to check your labels.
For those who are lactose intolerant, orange juice is a great choice.
Over to you –
What do you do to increase the Vitamin D levels in your body? What’s your favorite vitamin D-rich food? Share in the comments.