Natural Sources of Vitamin D
When looking for natural sources of vitamin D, the first place to look is outdoors. Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin, because when the sun's UV-B rays touch our skin, skin cells produce vitamin D3. For fair-skinned people, all it takes is ten to 15 minutes in the midday sun to make 10,000 IU of this beneficial nutrient.
People Who Make Less Vitamin D
People with dark skin and elderly people make less vitamin D even when they spend time in the sun, so it is important for them to take in enough vitamin D from dietary sources. Natural sources of vitamin D are limited, and most are high in fat.
Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin D3. Wild caught salmon contains from 500 to 1000 International Units (IU) in a serving. In fact, vitamin D in a 4 oz. serving of baked salmon weighs in at just over 400 IUs.
Sardines are also a very good dietary source of vitamin D. One sardine, on average, has about 182 IU of this important nutrient. They are also a good source of iron and calcium.
Enjoy a shrimp cocktail appetizer as a tasty way to get vitamin D into your diet. A 4 oz. serving of boiled (or steamed) shrimp supplies about 162 IU vitamin D.
Vitamin-D Fortified Milk
Some people refer to milk fortified with vitamin D as liquid sunshine. It is the number one source of dietary vitamin D with one cup providing around ¼ the estimated amount needed by adults.
Eggs and Vitamin D
Eggs have gained an unhealthy reputation over the years, but that is gradually changing. Eggs are, in fact, a good source of vitamin D, plus they are a very good source of iodine, selenium and B2.
Cod is a good dietary source of vitamin D along with selenium and B12, which all work together to protect cells from toxic substances that may be linked to cancer.
Vitamin D Is Essential
Including vitamin D rich foods to your diet is important on a number of levels. It helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus which are needed for strong bones and teeth, and it also plays an important in promoting a healthy immune system. Take steps to include these foods in your diet to avoid vitamin D deficiency when you don't get enough time in the sun.
(Reviewed by a medical expert for accuracy.)