Sources Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for your health, but it can be difficult for people to know if they are getting the right amount. This is because the best source of vitamin D is sunlight, and many people spend their days indoors.
One of the easiest ways to get vitamin D is by spending some time in the sun every day. However, it is important to use sunscreen if you spend a lot of time in the sun or do not want to tan.
Few foods are naturally high in it. Other foods are fortified with vitamin D to make them an even better source of nutrients.
Here are some of the main sources of vitamin D:
The UV rays from sunlight strike a chemical in your skin, turning it into vitamin D3 sulfate, which is then carried to your liver and kidneys for further processing to become the active form of vitamin D. Most people get at least some of their needed vitamin D from sunlight. However, you can absorb too much ultraviolet light by spending too much time outside or by using tanning beds — both of which can increase your risk for skin cancer. Because of this risk, experts recommend getting most of your daily vitamin D requirements from food sources or supplements rather than sun exposure.
- Cod liver oil.
One tablespoon (15 milliliters) contains 1,360 IU of vitamin D — just short of the 1,400-1,600 IU recommended each day for children between 1 and 18 years old, depending on age and sex.
- Fortified milk and juice.
Milk and juice are naturally low in vitamin D but often fortified with 100 IU per serving. Check the product label to make sure you’re getting the amount you want.
Egg yolks contain 20%–25% of the DV for vitamin D (IU).
- Fish liver oil.
Cod liver oil contains more than 1,300 IU per tablespoon — over 300% of the DV for adults! It’s also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Fatty Fish
Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are high in vitamin D (IU). These fish contain about 450 IU per 3 ounces, which is about 60%–150% of the DV for adults. Sardines, salmon, and herring are some of the best sources of vitamin D.
- Liver from beef, chicken, or turkey contains small amounts of vitamin D. Three ounces (85 grams) of cooked beef liver has 42 IU or 10% of the DV for vitamin D3.
If you don’t get enough vitamin D from the sun or your diet, it is best to consult a doctor to take vitamin D supplements.
- Canned Tuna
Canned tuna contains 268 IU of vitamin D per serving. Choose light tuna and eat 6 ounces (170 grams) or less per week to prevent methylmercury buildup.
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. Excluding fortified foods, mushrooms are the only good non-animal source of vitamin D. Nonetheless, wild mushrooms are excellent sources of vitamin D2. In fact, some varieties pack up to 2,300 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving — nearly three times the DV.
Spending time in the sun is a good way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. However, sufficient sun exposure is difficult for many people to achieve. Eating plenty of these vitamin-D-rich foods is a great way to make sure you get enough of this important nutrient.