Vitamin D is that the only nutrient your body produces when exposed to sunlight.
However, up to 50% of the world’s population might not get enough sun, and 40% of U.S. residents are deficient in vitamin D .
This is partly because people spend longer indoors, wear sunblock outside, and eat a Western diet low in good sources of this vitamin.
The recommended daily value (DV) is 800 IU (20 mcg) of vitamin D per day from foods.
If you don’t get enough sunlight, your intake should likely be closer to 1,000 IU (25 mcg) per day.
7 Healthy Foods That Are High in vitamin D
Salmon may be a popular fatty fish and great source of vitamin D .
According to the us Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Composition Database, one 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of farmed Atlantic salmon contains 526 IU of vitamin D , or 66% of the DV.
Whether the salmon is wild or farmed can make an enormous difference.
On average, wild-caught salmon packs 988 IU of vitamin D per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, or 124% of the DV. Some studies have found even higher levels in wild salmon — up to 1,300 IU per serving.
Wild salmon contains about 988 IU of vitamin D per serving, while farmed salmon contains 250 IU, on the average . That’s 124% and 32% of the DV, respectively.
2. Herring and sardines
Herring may be a fish eaten round the world. It are often served raw, canned, smoked, or pickled.
This small fish is additionally one among the simplest sources of vitamin D .
Fresh Atlantic herring provides 216 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, which is 27% of the DV (8Trusted Source).
If cannon fodder isn’t your thing, herring is additionally an honest source of vitamin D , providing 112 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, or 14% of the DV.
However, herring also contains a high amount of sodium, which some people consume an excessive amount of of.
Canned sardines are an honest source of vitamin D also — one can (3.8 ounces) contains 177 IU, or 22% of the DV.
Other sorts of fatty fish also are good vitamin D sources. Halibut and mackerel provide 384 IU and 360 IU per half a fillet, respectively.
Herring contains 216 IU of vitamin D per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving. herring , sardines, and other fatty fish, like halibut and mackerel, also are good sources.
3. Cod liver oil
Cod liver oil may be a popular supplement. If you don’t like fish, taking cod liver oil are often key to obtaining certain nutrients that are unavailable in other sources.
It’s a superb source of vitamin D — at about 448 IU per teaspoon (4.9 ml), it clocks in at a huge 56% of the DV. it’s been used for several years to stop and treat deficiency in children.
Cod liver oil is likewise an incredible source of vitamin A , with 150% of the DV in only one teaspoon (4.9 ml). However, vitamin A are often toxic in high amounts.
Therefore, take care with cod liver oil, ensuring to not take an excessive amount of .
In addition, cod liver oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which many of us are deficient in.
Cod liver oil contains 448 IU of vitamin D per teaspoon (4.9 ml), or 56% of the DV. it’s also high in other nutrients, like vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids.
4. Canned tuna
Many people enjoy canned tuna due to its flavor and straightforward storage methods.
It’s also usually cheaper than buying cannon fodder .
Canned light tuna packs up to 268 IU of vitamin D during a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, which is 34% of the DV.
It’s also an honest source of niacin and vitamin K .
Unfortunately, canned tuna contains methylmercury, a toxin found in many sorts of fish. If it builds up in your body, it can cause serious health problems.
However, some sorts of fish pose less risk than others. as an example , light tuna is usually a far better choice than white tuna — it’s considered safe to eat up to six ounces (170 grams) per week.
Canned tuna contains 268 IU of vitamin D per serving. Choose light tuna and eat 6 ounces (170 grams) or less per week to stop methylmercury buildup.
5. Egg yolks
People who don’t eat fish should know that seafood isn’t the sole source of vitamin D . Whole eggs are another good source, also as a wonderfully nutritious food.
While most of the protein in an egg is found within the white, the fat, vitamins, and minerals are found mostly within the yolk.
One typical ingredient contains 37 IU of vitamin D , or 5% of the DV.
Vitamin D levels in ingredient depend upon sun exposure and therefore the vitamin D content of chicken feed. When given an equivalent feed, pasture-raised chickens that roam outside within the sunlight produce eggs with levels 3–4 times higher.
Additionally, eggs from chickens given vitamin-D-enriched feed may have up to six ,000 IU of vitamin D per yolk. That’s a whopping 7 times the DV.
Choosing eggs either from chickens raised outside or marketed as high in vitamin D are often an excellent thanks to meet your daily requirements.
Eggs from commercially raised hens contain only about 37 IU of vitamin D per yolk. However, eggs from hens raised outside or fed vitamin-D-enriched feed contain much higher levels.
Excluding fortified foods, mushrooms are the sole good non-animal source of vitamin D .
Like humans, mushrooms can synthesize this vitamin when exposed to UV light (27Trusted Source).
However, mushrooms produce vitamin D2, whereas animals produce vitamin D3.
Though vitamin D 2 helps raise blood levels of vitamin D, it’s going to not be as effective as vitamin D3 (28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source).
Nonetheless, wild mushrooms are excellent sources of vitamin D2. In fact, some varieties close up to 2,300 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving — nearly 3 times the DV .
On the opposite hand, commercially grown mushrooms are often grown within the dark and contain little or no D2.
However, certain brands are treated with ultraviolet (UV light). These mushrooms can provide 130–450 IU of vitamin D2 per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) (31).
Mushrooms can synthesize vitamin D2 when exposed to UV light. Only wild mushrooms or mushrooms treated with UV light are good sources of vitamin D .
7. Fortified foods
Natural sources of vitamin D are limited, especially if you’re vegetarian or don’t like fish.
Fortunately, some food products that don’t naturally contain vitamin D are fortified with this nutrient.
Cow’s milk, the foremost commonly consumed sort of milk, is of course an honest source of the many nutrients, including calcium, phosphorous, and riboflavin (32Trusted Source).
In several countries, cow’s milk is fortified with vitamin D . it always contains about 115–130 IU per cup (237 ml), or about 15–22% of the DV (7Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).
Because vitamin D is found almost exclusively in animal products, vegetarians and vegans are at a very high risk of not getting enough (34Trusted Source).
For this reason, plant-based milk substitutes like soy milk are often fortified with this nutrient and other vitamins and minerals usually found in cow’s milk.
One cup (237 ml) typically contains 107–117 IU of vitamin D , or 13–15% of the DV (35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).
Around 75% of individuals worldwide are lactose intolerant, and another 2–3% have a milk allergy (37Trusted Source, 38Trusted Source).
For this reason, some countries fortify fruit juice with vitamin D and other nutrients, like calcium (39Trusted Source).
One cup (237 ml) of fortified fruit juice with breakfast can start your time off with up to 100 IU of vitamin D , or 12% of the DV (40Trusted Source).
Cereal and oatmeal
Certain cereals and instant oatmeal also are fortified with vitamin D .
Half a cup (78 grams) of those foods can provide 54–136 IU, or up to 17% of the DV (41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).
Though fortified cereals and oatmeal provide less vitamin D than many natural sources, they will still be an honest thanks to boost your intake.
Foods like cow’s milk, soy milk, fruit juice , cereals, and oatmeal are sometimes fortified with vitamin D . These contain 54-136 IU per serving.
Vitamin D and calcium
Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium, which plays a key role in maintaining bone strength and skeletal integrity.
Getting enough of both vitamin D and calcium is crucial to maintaining bone health and protecting against disorders like osteoporosis, a condition that’s characterized by weak, brittle bones (44Trusted Source).
Children and adults aged 1–70 need approximately 600 IU of vitamin D per day, and it can come from a mixture of food sources and sunlight. Meanwhile, adults over 70 should aim for a minimum of 800 IU (20 mcg) of vitamin D per day (45Trusted Source).
The daily value (DV), a scoring system used on the labels of packaged food, is 800 IU per day.
Calcium needs also vary by age. Children aged 1–8 require about 2,500 mg of calcium daily, and people ages 9–18 need approximately 3,000 mg daily.
Adults ages 19–50 generally require about 2,500 mg daily, which decreases to 2,000 mg daily for those over age 50 (46Trusted Source).
Your body needs vitamin D to soak up calcium. This makes getting enough of both vitamin D and calcium crucial to maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis.
The bottom line
Spending time within the sun may be a great way to urge your daily dose of vitamin D . However, sufficient sun exposure is difficult for several people to realize .
Getting enough from your diet alone could also be difficult, but not impossible.
The foods listed during this article are a number of the highest sources of vitamin D available.
Eating many these vitamin-D-rich foods may be a good way to form sure you get enough of this important nutrient.