11 Foods High In Vitamin D, And Why You Should Care About It

Vitamin D is a crucial vitamin which is required by our bodies for the bone development, proper absorption of calcium, alleviation of inflammation, proper immune functioning, control of cell growth, and neuromuscular functioning. A deficiency of this vitamin can cause a disease in which bones are not able to develop properly. In this article we will look at 11 foods which are high in vitamin D, and why you should care about it.

1. Ricotta cheese

Ricotta cheese stands out among other cheeses for its fairly high content of vitamin D. However, one serving contains 25 IUs of vitamin D, and it would still take about 23 servings in order to get recommended daily dose solely from this cheese.

You should also consider the amount of fat you would eat, which is highly not recommended. In comparison with other types of cheese, ricotta cheese contains about five times more vitamin D. That said, it’s recommended to consume ricotta cheese for the intake of vitamin D, but you should think about other sources as well since this cheese contains a lot of fat, much more than recommended daily dose.

生レバ Beef liver sashimi
Photo by ryumu

2. Beef liver

A three-ounce serving of beef liver contains more than 42 IUs of vitamin D and several other nutrients, which is about 1/14 of recommended daily dose needed for a person who doesn’t get much exposure to the sun.

In addition, beef is also one of the best sources of vitamin B-12 and a good source of protein and vitamin A. Organ meats are one of the best sources of iron, as well.

In case you are going to the store for meat, make sure to choose grass-fed beef to take advantage of more sustainable farming practices and additional nutrition. However, you might want to choose other sources of vitamin D as well, since the beef liver is high in cholesterol. Consider oily fish instead.

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3. Mushrooms

Mushrooms, just like humans, have the ability to produce vitamin D when they are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. Although the amount varies widely by type, certain types of mushrooms can have a significant amount of vitamin D.

Shiitake mushrooms contain 45 IUs, which is about 1/13 of a daily recommended dose. However, white mushrooms contain only 5 IUs. Mushrooms are usually grown in the dark, and therefore, they don’t contain the vitamin D.

However, certain brands are grown in UV light in order to spur the production of vitamin D. Look at the stores in your area for the mushrooms which contain vitamin D, such as Dole’s Portobello Mushrooms. In addition, mushrooms are great for vegetarians who are seeking for plant-based foods that contain the vitamin D.

4. Eggs

Eggs are a great source of vitamin D. Just two large eggs contain one-tenth of a daily recommended dose of vitamin D.

Eggs which are truly from free-range chickens, such as those a lot of people are raising in their backyards these days, are usually more nutritious and delicious than the factory farmed kind.

However, the free-range label on eggs is not a regulated term. Therefore, it could be meaningless, which is unfortunate. Eggs also contain a lot of other nutrients, they are very healthy, and most importantly they are not expensive. That said, next time you prepare you breakfast, consider eggs with salad. They will provide you with many nutrients and you will feel fuller for a longer period of time.

Glistening - Mum's Pork Ribs
Photo by avlxyz

5. Pork

3 small ounces of pork will provide as much as 87 IUs of vitamin D. This is almost 1/7 of a recommended daily dose. The most of vitamin D can be found in ribs. However, you might also end up eating too much of fat in the pursuit of nutrients.

Also, the amount of vitamin D in pork varies a lot by preparation and cut. If you consume a slice of ham you will barely get any vitamin D. One serving size of 300 grams contains 445 calories, 10 grams of fat, 84 grams of protein, 1500 mg of cholesterol, 320 mg of sodium and zero carbohydrates.

Pork can be a great source of vitamin D, but you should avoid eating too much, since you can also consume too many unnecessary calories, and this is especially important if you are trying to lose weight.

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6. Cereal

If you are looking for a great source of vitamin D, than you should try with fortified cereals. Fortified cereal, just like fortified milk, provides a lot more balanced meal in comparison with a vitamin D supplement.

When you are buying cereals read the label carefully since the amount of vitamin D in cereals varies widely by type and brand. Multi Grain Cheerios are a low-calorie fortified cereal which will provide you with a daily fill of vitamin D.

Also, you can pair these cereals with fortified milk. One cup serving of Multi-Grain Cheerios (30 grams) with a half cup of fortified milk contains 90 IUs. If you add an eight-ounce glass of orange juice, you will be close to two hundred IUs.

Milk 2
Photo by AMagill

7. Milk

Fortified milk contains about 1/5 of a recommended daily dose of vitamin D. However, a whole milk contains even more of vitamin D than skim milk.

Almost every type of cow’s milk in the United States are fortified with vitamin D, but cheese and ice cream are not.

Generally, an eight-ounce glass of milk has about 100 IUs of vitamin D, and a six-ounce serving of yogurt has 80 IUs. However, the amount can be lower or higher, which depends on how much is added. Rice and soy milk are fortified with about the same amount, but make sure to check the label since not all have vitamin D.

Seared Tuna
Photo by cogito ergo imago

8. Tuna

One serving o tuna contains a healthy dose of vitamin D, which is more than 1/3 of a recommended daily dose. Light tuna in oil contains the most. White tuna contains about 1/10, while light tuna in water contains about 1/4 of a recommended daily dose.

Light tuna contains less mercury in comparison to white tuna, which makes it more safer choice. Fresh fish are not the only way to increase your intake of vitamin D; you can also get vitamin D from a can.

Sardines, fish-in-a-can, also contains a lot of vitamin D, which is about 1/4 of a recommended daily dose, along with a healthy dose of calcium. In addition, pickled herring contain about 1/6 of a recommended daily dose.

Photo by Juan-Calderon

9. Salmon

Salmon contains by far the most vitamin D in comparison to any food. However, farmed salmon has much less than wild salmon, and it is also easier to find and cheaper.

1/2 fillet of sockeye salmon contains more than 1,400 IUs of vitamin D, which more than twice as much most people need on a daily basis. One serving of salmon (180 grams) also contains 367 of calories, 22 grams of fat, 112 mg of cholesterol, 109 mg of sodium, 39 grams of protein, and zero carbohydrates.

That said, salmon is a great source of vitamin D, and other nutrients as well. Go to a grocery store in your area, buy salmon and prepare for yourself and your family a delicious and healthy meal, which is full of many necessary nutrients.