Choosing Foods High in Vitamin D
If you live at a Northern latitude, have a dark skin tone or always wear sunscreen when you are outdoors, choosing foods high in vitamin D will help make sure you get enough of this vital nutrient.
Cod liver oil is the single best food source of vitamin D, and one tablespoon has more than 300 percent of the recommended daily value. You can purchase it in either capsule or oil form.
Fish itself is an excellent source as well. Look for salmon, tuna, sardines, or other fatty fish. Three ounces of salmon has about 100% of the recommended daily value of vitamin D, while three ounces of mackerel contains 97%.
Fortified milk is a good source of vitamin D. If you do not drink cow's milk, most soy milk is similarly fortified. It contains between 29 and 31% of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin D.
Fortified Orange Juice
Many manufacturers now fortify orange juice in the same way dairy has been fortified for years, making it as good a dietary source of vitamin D as fortified milk.
Like milk, fortified butter can be a good source of vitamin D. If you avoid dairy, fortified margarine can also be a good source, containing about 15% of the recommended daily allowance.
Liver is not just for iron! Liver is an excellent source of vitamin D, as well as vitamin A, vitamin B12 and an abundance of minerals and fatty acids. Three and a half ounces of beef liver contain 12% of the daily allowance for vitamin D.
Two sardines that have been canned in oil contain 12% of the daily value of vitamin D.
One large egg contains 10% of your daily value of vitamin D. The vitamin D is found in the yolks.
Other Fortified Products
Manufacturers fortify soy products and cereals with vitamin D. Check the label, but many contain about 10% of your daily value for vitamin D.
White button mushrooms contain about 18 IU of vitamin D, which is about 6% of the recommended daily allowance for the vitamin. What is promising about the fungus, however, is that early experiments show mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet B radiation contain substantially more, making them a potential future source for vitamin D fortification.
The Best Source
While it can be helpful to have dietary vitamin D, the sun is still the best source for the vitamin in its most usable form. Getting your vitamin D from both sources will keep your vitamin D levels up, prevent symptoms of deficiency and keep you feeling great.