What foods are high in vitamin D

Vitamin D is the only nutrient that the body makes using sunlight. RBC Style tells how its deficit can be replenished with the help of a diet

The material was commented on by Ekaterina Erokhina, head of the Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus, endocrinologist, candidate of medical sciences, an employee of the Medsi Clinical Diagnostic Center

Vitamin D-rich foods:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines and other fatty fish
  • Herring
  • Canned tuna
  • Cod liver oil
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms
  • Cow’s milk
  • Soy milk
  • Orange juice
  • Vitamin D and Calcium

1. Salmon

According to the USDA, a serving of oily fish weighing about 100 grams contains 526 IU (international units) of vitamin D. This is 66% of the daily value. Much depends on where the salmon was grown. Wild-caught fish contain up to 988 IU of vitamin D per serving, with some studies suggesting that the figure goes up to 1300 IU. Captive-raised salmon can provide 25% fewer nutrients, but on average one, serving provides 250 IU of the vitamin or 32% of the daily value.

2. Sardines and other fatty fish

Canned sardines are a good source of the “sunshine vitamin”. One 100-gram serving contains 177 IU of the nutrient, which is 22% of the daily intake. Other healthy, fatty fish should be included in your diet if you spend a lot of time indoors. For example, a serving of halibut or mackerel will provide about 360-390 IU of vitamin D.

3. Herring

Herring is cooked not only in oil. It can be canned, smoked and pickled. One fresh natural Atlantic herring provides 216 IU of vitamin D per serving, or 27% of the RDA. If you prefer pickled fish, then use it to replenish about 14% of the required amount of vitamin D – in one serving of it 112 IU. Keep in mind that with this cooking method, a lot of salt accumulates in the fish, an excess of which can negatively affect health.

4. Canned tuna

This fish is often added to soups and salads. It is convenient to store canned food, and you can easily make lunch from them without long heat treatment. In addition, in this form, tuna is much cheaper than fresh tuna. Canned food contains 268 IU of vitamin D per 100 g, which is 34% of the daily value. In addition, canned tuna is an excellent source of vitamin K  . But doctors say the product may contain traces of mercury and other toxins that, when accumulated in the body, cause health problems. They are found in many types of fish , so you shouldn’t eat canned tuna every day.

5. Cod liver oil

The fat of this fish is used to prevent vitamin D deficiency in children. A teaspoon of cod liver oil contains 448 IU of the substance, which is 56% of the RDA.  In addition, this fat contains a large amount of Omega-3 and vitamin A – about 150% of the daily value in 5 ml. Keep in mind that this vitamin can be toxic in large quantities, so do not consume cod liver oil too often.

6. Egg yolks

Seafood is the main, but not the only source of vitamin D. Whole eggs fill its deficiency just as well, and they are very nutritious. Useful substances and minerals are found mainly in the yolk: in one – 5% of the daily value of the “Solar vitamin”. The amount of vitamin D depends mainly on the length of time the chicken is in the sun and the quality of the grain that is fed to it. Farm-raised birds produce eggs that are three to four times more nutritious.

7. Mushrooms

Vitamin D is produced in mushrooms by exposure to ultraviolet radiation. This is one of the plant foods with a high content of vitamins without additional artificial fortification. There is a lot of D2 in mushrooms, while, for example, in fish, there is a lot of D3. D2 helps to raise blood levels of the vitamin, but it is less effective than D3. Some varieties of mushrooms contain up to 2300 IU per hundred gram portion, which is almost several times more than the daily requirement. But most types of food from the store are grown in the dark, and there are much fewer nutrients in them. Some manufacturers treat mushrooms with ultraviolet light, which provides about 130-450 IU of vitamin D2 per serving.

8. Cow’s milk

There are not many natural foods that are high in vitamin D. But manufacturers have figured out how to fill its deficit for those who do not eat fish, mushrooms, and eggs. Some foods are additionally fortified with vitamins. Cow’s milk is a source of many nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin. The fortified product contains 115-130 IU of vitamin D per cup (230-250 ml).

9. Soy milk

Because vitamin D is found primarily in animal products, vegetarians are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency. For this reason, animal milk replacers are also often supplemented with additional nutrients. Vitamin D is added to soy, oat, buckwheat and other types of plant milk. Information on beneficial supplements is indicated on the packaging; read the composition before buying.

10. Orange juice

About 75% of people in the world suffer from varying degrees of lactose intolerance, and 2-3% – from milk allergy . Therefore, you can find other foods fortified with nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D in stores. One cup (250 ml) of orange juice contains about 100 IU or 12% of the RDI.

11. Vitamin D and calcium

The “sunshine vitamin” is essential for the proper absorption of calcium, which plays a key role in strengthening bones and skeletal integrity. Adequate amounts of both substances reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Children between the ages of one and seven and adults require approximately 600 IU of vitamin D per day. People over 70 years of age should receive at least 800 IU (20 μg) of the substance per day. The need for calcium also depends on age: children from one to eight years old need about 2500 mg per day, from nine to 18 years old – 3000 mg. Adults from 19 to 50 years old need 2500 mg per day, and after 50 – 2000 mg.

Eat foods high in calcium, such as cheese, Greek yogurt, spinach, kale salad, and soy. Some foods contain both calcium and vitamin D, such as salmon, sardines, and fortified orange juice.

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