Vitamin D is the only nutrient that is produced by the body when exposed to sunlight.
However half of the world’s population may not get enough sunlight. The number of people with vitamin D deficiency is quite high.
The main reason for Vitamin D deficiency is people spend more time indoors, wear sunblock outside, and eat an unhealthy diet low in good sources of best vitamins for energy and good health.
The recommended daily value (DV) of Vitamin D is 800 IU per day from foods. If you don’t get enough sunlight, your intake should be close to 1,000 IU per day.
The following are the foods that are a great source of Vitamin D:
Many people avoid eating egg yolks and they only eat egg whites. By doing so you are keeping yourself away from vitamins and nutrients that are packed in the egg yolk.
Fish and seafood are not the only sources of vitamin D. Whole eggs are another good source of Vitamin D and other nutrients.
While the egg white has a higher content of protein as compared to egg yolk, the fat, vitamins, and minerals are found mostly in the yolk.
One typical egg yolk contains 37 IU of vitamin D or 5% of the DV of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D levels in egg yolk depend on sun exposure and the vitamin D content of the chicken feed. When given the same food, pasture-raised chickens that were kept outside in the sunlight produce eggs with levels 3–4 times higher.
Eggs from chickens given nutrition-rich feed may have up to 6,000 IU of vitamin D per yolk. That’s almost 7 times the DV of Vitamin D.
Consuming eggs daily can be a great way to meet your daily requirements.
Mushrooms are one of the only few plant sources of vitamin D.
Like humans, mushrooms can synthesize vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. However, the vitamin D found in mushroom is different from that found in animals. Mushrooms produce vitamin D2 and animals produce vitamin D3.
Though vitamin D2 helps raise blood levels of vitamin D, it may not be as effective as vitamin D3.
Wild mushrooms are excellent sources of vitamin D2. In fact, some variety of mushrooms provide up to 2,300 IU per 100-gram serving which nearly three times the DV.
However, commercially grown mushrooms are often grown in the dark in a controlled environment, therefore they contain very little D2.
There are few brands are treated with ultraviolet light. These mushrooms can provide 130–450 IU of vitamin D2 per 100 grams.
Salmon is a commonly consumed fatty fish and a great source of vitamin D.
A 100-gram serving of farmed Atlantic salmon contains 526 IU of vitamin D or 66% of the DV of Vitamin D.
Whether the salmon is wild or farmed can make a big difference.
A wild-caught salmon packs 988 IU of vitamin D per 100-gram serving or 124% of the DV of Vitamin D. The Vitamin D levels in wild salmon can also go up to 1,300 IU per serving.
However, farmed salmon contains only 25% of that amount. Still, one serving of farmed salmon provides about 250 IU of vitamin D or 32% of the DV of Vitamin D.
Herrings and sardines
Herring is a fish that is consumed throughout the world. It can be served raw, canned, smoked, or pickled. Herring and sardines are some of the best sources of vitamin D.
A 100 gram serving of Fresh Atlantic will provide you with 216 IU, which is 27% of the DV of vitamin D.
If you don’t like eating fresh fish then pickled herring is also a good source of vitamin D. A 100 gram serving of pickled herring provides 112 IU per, which is 14% of the DV.
However, pickled herring also contains a high amount of sodium, which might not be good for some people.
Canned sardines are also a good source of vitamin D. One can of 100 gram contains 177 IU or 22% of the DV of Vitamin D.
Canned tuna is usually preferred by many people because of its flavor and easy storage methods.
It’s also usually cheaper than buying fresh fish.
A 100 gram of canned light tuna provides up to 268 IU of vitamin D, which is 34% of the DV. It is one of the best vitamin d3sources.
It’s also a good source of niacin and vitamin K.
The only drawback of canned tuna is that it contains methylmercury. It is a toxin found in many types of fish. If it builds up in your body, it can cause serious health problems.
However, some types of fish contain less toxin as compared to others. For instance, light tuna is considered to be a better choice than white tuna. It is considered safe to eat up to 170 grams per week.
Cod liver oil
Cod liver oil is a popular supplement taken worldwide. If you don’t like to eat fish, then taking cod liver oil can be very helpful in obtaining certain nutrients that are otherwise not found in other food sources.
One teaspoon of fish oil can provide about 448 IU, which is a massive 56% of the DV of vitamin D. It has been used for many years to prevent and treat deficiency in children.
Cod liver oil is also a fantastic source of other vitamins like vitamin A. One teaspoon of cod liver oil gives about 150% of the DV. However, vitamin A can be toxic if taken in high amounts.
Therefore, be cautious with cod liver oil, excessive intake might turn out to be harmful.
In addition, cod liver oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which many people are deficient in.