Foods High in Vitamin D: Top Foods for Vitamin
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The importance of vitamin D and its function in maintaining general health garner an increasing amount of attention.
It is common knowledge that vitamin D influences a wide variety of body processes, one of which is bone health. According to certain studies, having low vitamin D levels may be a risk factor for developing autoimmune illnesses.
Vitamin D deficiency is common among the general population. Because medical professionals are still arguing what the appropriate target levels should be, it is difficult to determine how many people have a deficiency.
According to the findings of several studies, over 24 percent of people living in the United States do not get enough vitamin D. It’s possible that some regions of the world have higher prevalence rates of deficiencies. According to some estimates, over 40 percent of the population in Europe suffers from vitamin D deficiency.
When our skin is exposed to UV rays from the sun, our bodies synthesize vitamin D. There are several factors that contribute to the difficulty of obtaining an adequate amount of vitamin D in this manner.
It is essential to protect oneself from the sun by covering up, applying sunscreen, and avoiding being outside during the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest. Additionally, depending on where on the planet you call home, it may just not be possible to get sufficient sun exposure throughout the entire year.
Because of this, the best way to obtain vitamin D is through diet or pills.
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Daily recommended dose of vitamin D
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D is 800 international units (20 mcg). On the nutrition facts panel that can be seen on the back of food packaging, the vitamin D content is provided as a percentage of the daily value (DV). This will inform you what percentage of your recommended daily intake of vitamin D the food will give you.
The main sources of vitamin D are foods and vitamin D pills.
Consult your physician if you are unsure about whether or not you need a vitamin D supplement in addition to the food you eat and the sun exposure you get. They are also able to assist you in determining whether or not you have a deficiency.
The following is a list of seven nutritious foods that are rich in vitamin D.
Many people enjoy eating salmon because it is high in both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D content.
The Food Composition Database of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that one serving of farmed Atlantic salmon, which is equal to 3.5 ounces (100 grams), contains 526 international units (IU) of vitamin D, which is equivalent to 66 percent of the daily value (DV).
There is often a significant gap in vitamin D concentration depending on whether the salmon comes from wild or farmed sources.
The vitamin D content of salmon that was caught in wild environments is often higher. The amount of vitamin D in salmon will change depending on the time of year as well as the location where it was caught.
According to the findings of one study, the vitamin D concentration of salmon that was fished in the Baltic sea ranged from 556 to 924 IU per one 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, which provided 70–111 percent of the daily value (DV).
Both wild salmon and farmed salmon are excellent providers of vitamin D, however, wild salmon typically has a higher vitamin D content than farmed salmon. Wild salmon can provide as much as 160 percent of the daily value in a serving size of 3.5 ounces (100 grams), but farmed salmon only has about 66 percent of the DV.
2. Herring and sardines
There are people all throughout the world who eat herring. It is frequently smoked or pickled after preparation. Additionally, this little fish is an excellent source of vitamin D.
A serving of fresh Atlantic herring contains 214 international units (IU), which is equivalent to 27 percent of the daily value (DV).
If fresh fish isn’t your thing, pickled herring is also a strong source of vitamin D. One serving of 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of pickled herring has 113 international units of vitamin D, which is equivalent to 14 percent of the daily value. A serving of pickled herring has 870 milligrams of sodium in it, making it another food item with high sodium content. If you are attempting to reduce the amount of salt in your diet, this might not be the best choice.
Additionally, canned sardines make for an excellent source of vitamin D. There are 193 international units per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, which is equal to 24 percent of the daily value.
There is a variety of fatty fish that are also excellent providers of vitamin D. Each 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of halibut and mackerel contains 190 and 643 international units of vitamin A, respectively.
One serving of herring (3.5 ounces or 100 grams) has 214 international units (IU) of vitamin D. Herring and sardines that have been pickled, along with other fatty fish like halibut and mackerel, are also excellent sources.
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3. Cod liver oil
One of the most common dietary supplements is cod liver oil. If you don’t like fish, you can still gain nutrients that are difficult to obtain through other means by consuming cod liver oil.
It’s a wonderful way to get your vitamin D intake in for the day. It has an astounding 56% of the daily value in just one teaspoon (4.9 mL), which contains around 450 IU of vitamin A. It has been utilized for the treatment of vitamin D insufficiency for a significant number of years. In the past, it has also been utilized as a therapeutic method for the treatment of rickets, psoriasis, and tuberculosis.
One teaspoon of cod liver oil contains 150 percent of the daily value for vitamin A, making it one of the healthiest sources of this nutrient (4.9 mL). In large enough doses, vitamin A can be harmful to your health. The maximum amount of vitamin A that is considered to be safe is 3,000 mcg. One level teaspoon (4.9 milliliters) of cod liver oil has 1,350 international units (mcg) of vitamin A.
Check to be that you are not taking in more vitamin A from cod liver oil or any other supplement than the recommended daily amount.
Furthermore, cod liver oil contains a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s possible that omega-3s help keeps your heart healthy and minimize inflammation throughout your body. These fatty acids can also be obtained through cod liver oil, which is another source besides fatty seafood. If you don’t eat fish, it could be difficult to consume the recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids every day.
One teaspoon (4.9 mL) of cod liver oil has 560 international units of vitamin D, which is equivalent to 56 percent of the daily value. Additionally, it is rich in a variety of minerals, including vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids, amongst others.
4. Canned tuna
Because of its delicious flavour and convenient storage options, canned tuna is a popular choice among many consumers. Buying fresh fish is often more expensive than doing so here.
One serving of canned light tuna contains up to 269 international units of vitamin D, which is equivalent to 34 percent of the daily value. One serving is 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
Mercury is a heavy metal that can be found in a variety of fish species. Mercury levels tend to be higher in larger fish species compared to those in smaller fish. The type of tuna caught determines the amount of mercury that is found in canned tuna.
Light tuna in a can is typically made from smaller fish and has a lower mercury content as a result. The mercury content in white canned tuna is greater.
Methylmercury has the potential to accumulate in the body over time. It is possible that some people will have major health difficulties as a result.
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) suggests consuming no more than one single serving of light tuna per week that is 3.5 ounces (100 grams) in size. If you are worried about your mercury intake, talk to your physician about the quantity of tuna you should consume on a weekly basis to keep you at a healthy weight.
A serving of tuna in a can has a total of 269 international units (IU) of vitamin D. To reduce the risk of methylmercury accumulation, choose light tuna and limit your consumption to no more than one serving per week.
5. Egg yolks
There are other food sources of vitamin D besides only fish. Eggs in their entirety are still another excellent source, not to mention food that is extraordinarily nutrient-dense.
The white of an egg contains the majority of the egg’s protein, whereas the yolk is where the majority of the egg’s fat, vitamins, and minerals are found.
One big egg has 37 international units of vitamin D, which is equivalent to five percent of the daily intake.
Egg yolks’ vitamin D content can be affected by a few different variables.
Eggs will have a higher vitamin D concentration if the hens are allowed to spend time in the sun, if the feed they eat contains vitamin D, or if the liquid yolk is exposed to ultraviolet light. Even when fed the same food, hens grown on pasture and allowed to freely wander outside in the sunshine produce eggs with levels that are three to four times greater.
In addition, the yolk of an egg produced by a chicken that was fed a vitamin D-enriched diet may contain as much as 34,815 IU of vitamin D for every 100 grams of egg. If we assume that one yolk weighs roughly 17 grams, then we may deduce that a single egg contains approximately 2.5 times the daily value of vitamin D.
Eggs that have been either produced by chickens that have been kept outside or that have been promoted as being high in vitamin D can be an excellent choice for helping you achieve your daily vitamin D requirements.
Eggs produced by chickens grown in commercial operations have an average of 37 international units (IU) of vitamin D per yolk. However, the levels of vitamin D in eggs that come from hens that were either raised outside or eaten feed that was enhanced with vitamin D are significantly greater.
Mushrooms are the only non-animal food item that can provide enough amounts of vitamin D, unless the food has been fortified.
When exposed to ultraviolet light, mushrooms, much like people, can produce vitamin D on their own.
Nevertheless, mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D2, while animals are better sources of vitamin D3.
Vitamin D2 may not be as effective as vitamin D3 in increasing blood levels of vitamin D, despite the fact that it helps boost blood levels of vitamin D.
Due to the fact that wild mushrooms are frequently exposed to UV light, certain types of these mushrooms are fantastic providers of vitamin D2. Morels are a type of mushroom that can only be found in their natural environment. These mushrooms have a vitamin D content of 136 international units per cup, which is equivalent to 17 percent of the daily value.
Many varieties of mushrooms sold commercially are cultivated in the dark and have very low levels of vitamin D2. In order to increase the amount of vitamin D that certain mushrooms contain, ultraviolet (UV) radiation is being used to treat them. One cup of cremini mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light has 1,110 international units of vitamin D, which is equivalent to 139% of the daily value.
When subjected to UV light, mushrooms are able to produce vitamin D2 on their own. Vitamin D can be obtained only from wild mushrooms or mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
7. Vitamin D fortified foods
There are not many natural sources of vitamin D, which is especially problematic if you don’t like seafood or are a vegetarian.
It is to our good fortune that certain food items that do not naturally contain vitamin D can have this supplement added to them through the process of fortification.
Milk from cows
Many essential minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin, can be found in abundance in cow’s milk, which is a naturally nutritious food source.
Vitamin D has been added to cow’s milk in a number of nations throughout the world. One cup of fortified cow’s milk in the United States contains 115 international units of vitamin D per cup (237 mL), which is equivalent to around 15 percent of the daily value.
Because vitamin D is nearly entirely contained in animal sources, vegetarians and vegans may have a more difficult time getting enough of it in their diets.
As a result of this, plant-based milk alternatives like soy milk are frequently fortified with vitamin D, in addition to the other nutrients that are typically present in cow’s milk.
It is possible for the quantity to change depending on the brand. There are around 100–119 international units (IU) of vitamin D in one cup (237 mL), which is equivalent to 13–15 percent of the daily value.
Worldwide, lactose intolerance affects over 65 percent of people, and milk allergies affect approximately 2 percent of the population.
Because of this, a few businesses add vitamin D and many other nutrients, such as calcium, to their orange juice products. Your morning meal of one cup (237 mL) of fortified orange juice can provide you with up to 100 international units of vitamin D, which is equal to 12 percent of the daily value.
Orange juice, on the other hand, isn’t necessarily the best choice for everyone. It may make symptoms worse for those who are predisposed to acid reflux.
If you have diabetes, you may notice that drinking juice produces an increase in your blood sugar level. This is because juice contains fructose. In spite of this, it is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a way to cure a low blood sugar level.
Oatmeal and other cereals
Another type of food that has the potential to have vitamin D added to it is cereal.
Fortified wheat bran flakes contain 145 international units of vitamin D per cup, which is equivalent to 18 percent of the daily value. There are 85 international units of vitamin D, which is 11 percent of the daily value, in one cup of fortified crisp rice cereal.
Keep in mind that vitamin D is not present in all breakfast cereals. It is a good idea to read the product’s nutrition label in order to determine the amount of vitamin D that is contained in the item. Even while cereals and oatmeal that have been fortified with vitamin D contain a lower amount of vitamin D than many natural sources, doing so can still be an effective approach to increase your consumption.
Vitamin D can be added to a variety of foods, including cow’s milk, soy milk, orange juice, cereals, and oatmeal. Because of the large amount of variation that exists, you will need to verify the labels in order to determine the amount of vitamin D present. If the product has not been enhanced in any way, then it cannot be considered a source of vitamin D.
Vitamin D and calcium
Calcium can only be absorbed into your body if you have adequate vitamin D. This plays a significant part in ensuring that bone strength and skeletal integrity are preserved.
It is essential to consume sufficient amounts of both vitamin D and calcium in order to preserve bone health and prevent against conditions such as osteoporosis. This is a disease that is characterised by fragile and brittle bones.
Although 800 international units (IU) is considered to be the daily value (DV) of vitamin D, the recommended daily amount (RDA) can be slightly different depending on your age.
Vitamin D intake of approximately 600 international units per day is recommended for children and people aged 1 to 70. This can result from a synergistic effect of the sun’s rays and the consumption of various foods. Vitamin D intake of at least 800 international units or 20 milligrammes per day is recommended for adults over the age of 70.
Age is a factor in determining the RDA for calcium as well. Calcium intake for children ages 4 to 8 should average around 1,000 milligrammes per day. Children ages 9 to 18 have a daily need of around 1,300 mg. The recommended daily intake for adults ages 19–50 is around 1,000 mg. People over the age of 50 typically have a daily need of 1,200 mg.
In order for your body to absorb calcium, vitamin D is required. Because of this, getting an adequate amount of vitamin D and calcium is absolutely necessary for protecting bone health and warding off osteoporosis.
Even while the sun’s ultraviolet rays enable our bodies to produce vitamin D on their own, doing so may not be the most effective way to fulfil your requirements.
In order to cut down on the possibility of developing skin cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest taking a few precautionary measures. These include spending more time in the shade, protecting your skin from the sun by applying sunscreen, and wearing protective clothing when you are out in it.
As a result of this, consuming vitamin D-rich foods or taking vitamin D supplements is normally going to be the most reliable and secure method for satisfying your vitamin D requirements.
It could be challenging to get enough vitamin D from your diet alone, but it’s certainly not impossible. The foods that are discussed in this piece are among the best sources of vitamin D that are currently available.
Consuming a sufficient amount of these vitamin D-rich foods is an excellent method to ensure that you get the recommended daily allowance of this vital mineral.