Health & Wellness
8 Easy Ways to Eat More Vitamin D-Rich Foods
Eating plenty of these vitamin D-rich foods should help ensure you consume what you need.
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The problem: Vitamin D isn’t found in many foods
With about 20 to 25 minutes of sun exposure daily you’ll get enough vitamin D, Stephen Honig, MD, director of the Osteoporosis Center at the Hospital for Joint Diseases, in New York City, told Health.com. But what if that’s not possible? Vitamin D has been positively linked to stronger bones and to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s, obesity, and depression. (How it works: The sun’s energy helps convert a chemical in your skin into a form of vitamin D.) So you need to be strategic. While experts debate whether supplements are necessary or helpful for most healthy people, eating more of these vitamin D-rich foods is a great way to get what your body needs. Don’t miss these 42 recipes that are perfect for sunless days.
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Fatty fish (like salmon, halibut, cod, and tuna) is one of the best food sources of vitamin D. A 3-ounce fillet delivers about 450 IU, which is close to the 600 IU that experts recommend most people eat daily. Get our best salmon recipes here.
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Especially the yolks—all of the vitamin D in an egg is found in the yolk. Some eggs boast even higher levels than others: One Eggland’s Best egg, for example, contains four times more vitamin D than ordinary eggs, totaling 30 percent of the daily recommended intake.* (*Based on third-party testing of ordinary eggs.) Here’s how to eat eggs all day.
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A typical eight-ounce glass of cow’s milk contains at least 100 IUs of vitamin D, but the amount can be higher or lower depending on how much of the vitamin is added. Rice, soy, and almond milk can be fortified as well; check the label.
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A variety of cold and hot cereals are now fortified with vitamin D, and some can contain more than 300 IUs of vitamin D per serving to get you halfway to your daily goal. Check out these 23 vitamin D benefits that can save your life.
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Fortified Orange Juice
Like milk, many fortified orange juice brands have extra vitamin D—about 100 IU in an eight-ounce glass. It’s often packaged with added calcium too, which is great because vitamin D helps your body absorb the bone-boosting mineral.
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Cod Liver Oil
In just one tablespoon, cod liver oil contains about 1,300 IU of vitamin D—more than any other food on this list. It is also rich in omega-3s and vitamin A. It can be taken in the form of a supplement, and can also help with immunity. Read this before you start taking a vitamin D supplement.
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Oysters are surprisingly high in nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin B12, copper, and zinc, with a surprisingly low calorie count. They contain about 300 IU per serving, or even more, depending on the type of oyster.
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Mushrooms are the only plant-based source that can contain vitamin D, aside from fortified foods. They only produce the vitamin when exposed to light, so mushrooms grown indoors may contain very little. If you are planning on getting your vitamin D from mushrooms, make sure they have been exposed to adequate levels of UV light or sunlight. These are the diets that put you at risk for a vitamin D deficiency.