Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is essential for maintaining good health. This nutrient helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are necessary for strong bones and teeth. It also plays a role in the immune system, cardiovascular health and reducing inflammation. While our body can produce vitamin D through sun exposure, it can also be found in a small number of food sources. In this article, we will discuss some of the best fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin D and how they can benefit your health.
Mushrooms are one of the few plant-based sources of vitamin D. They contain a type of vitamin D called ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), which is similar to the form of vitamin D that our bodies produce when exposed to sunlight. Some mushrooms are exposed to UV light during the growing process, which increases their vitamin D content. A cup of sliced mushrooms can provide about 400-600 IU of vitamin D, which is about 10-15% of the recommended daily value (DV). These can be enjoyed sautéed, grilled, in soups, salads or as a topping for pizzas and sandwiches.
A number of foods are fortified with vitamin D, such as certain types of milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals. These products may contain vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), which is the form of vitamin D that our bodies produce from sun exposure. Fortified foods can be an excellent source of vitamin D, especially for people who do not consume many vitamin D-rich foods. It is important to read the label and understand how much vitamin D is in a serving, as the amount can vary widely.
Egg yolks are another food that are high in vitamin D, with one large egg yolk providing about 41IU of vitamin D, which is about 10% of the recommended daily value. Eggs are also an excellent source of protein, choline and other nutrients. They can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, such as boiled, fried, poached or baked.
Salmon and Tuna
Fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are some of the best dietary sources of vitamin D. Wild-caught salmon is a particularly good source, with one 3-ounce serving providing about 450IU of vitamin D, which is about 112% of the recommended daily value. Fish is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and other essential nutrients. These can be enjoyed grilled, poached, or in sushi.
Cod liver oil
Cod liver oil is an excellent source of vitamin D, with one tablespoon providing about 1360IU of vitamin D, which is about 340% of the recommended daily value. It also contains other essential nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K. It is important to remember that this is a supplement and should be taken as directed by a healthcare professional.
In conclusion, there are a limited number of food sources for vitamin D, but incorporating them into your diet can provide a wide range of health benefits. Mushrooms, fortified foods, egg yolks, salmon and tuna, and cod liver oil are all great choices for vitamin D and offer a variety of nutritional benefits. Eating a diet rich in these foods can support bone health, immune system, cardiovascular health, and reduce inflammation. It’s important to note that vitamin D is best obtained through sun exposure, but in case of low sun exposure, or lack of access to sunshine, the above mentioned foods can be helpful. However, always make sure to talk to a healthcare professional.