What are the best high vitamin D foods?
High vitamin D foods can lower the risk of autoimmune diseases and help our bodily functions such as bone health, immune health, cognitive functions, and protection against Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Both a micronutrient and a hormone, vitamin D can be found in animal and fish products, as well as exposure to the sun.
There are many people who don’t get sufficient amounts of vitamin D. Research has shown that 24% of the people across the United States are vitamin D deficient. It’s been estimated that 40% of the population in Europe also have a vitamin D deficiency. Exposure to the sun can be a factor in this, and that’s why it’s best to get our vitamin D from food and supplements.
So how much vitamin D do we need? Experts recommend 880 International units (IU) of vitamin D per day while eating whole foods. Supplements are also a solid option. Make sure to consult with a doctor if there’s any interest in having your vitamin D levels evaluated or learning more about how to include vitamin D in your diet. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the best high vitamin D foods to add to our diet.
Egg Yolks (1 large egg, 41 IU)
Don’t be scared of the egg yolk! This portion of the egg contains the most vitamins and minerals and offers about 5% of the daily value of vitamin D. Although high in cholesterol, consuming just one egg per day should be just fine, unless you’re also indulging in other dairy products.
Fortified Orange Juice (1 cup, 100 IU)
Many companies fortify orange juice with vitamin D due to the 65% of the people worldwide who are lactose intolerant. One cup of OJ can provide 100 IU of vitamin D, which results in 12% of the recommended daily value.
Fortified Cow’s Milk (1 cup, 115 IU)
For those who aren’t lactose intolerant, cow’s milk is a great choice for a natural source of calcium, riboflavin, and phosphorus. Fortified cow’s milk in the United States contains 115 IU of vitamin D per cup. That’s about 15% of the recommended daily value.
Mushrooms (1 cup, 114–1110 IU)
You read that right. Some mushrooms can provide well over the recommended daily IUs from high Vitamin D foods. Farmers can expose mushrooms to UV-B light in order to produce up to 40 IUs per 1 gram of dried mushrooms.
Tuna, Sardines, Salmon (3 ounces, 164–645 IU)
There’s a whole lot of fish to choose from when deciding high vitamin D foods. Flounders, herring, tilapia, trout—you name it. Our favorites are tuna, sardines, and salmon because they’re almost always in stock at your local grocery. One serving of canned tuna can boast 231 UI, while sardines can provide 193 IU. Salmon contains the most IU out of these three choices, with 570 IU in just 3 ounces.