28 Best Natural Sources of Vitamin D in Foods to Consume

Vitamin D is known as a fat-soluble vitamin that can work as a pro-hormone and affect hormone balance as well as body’s immune regulation. Most of the natural foods are poor vitamin D sources and there are only a few vitamin D-rich foods for you to choose from. If you want to take in vitamin D and prevent vitamin D deficiency, read this article to discover some of the best sources of vitamin D that you can choose from. 

List Of 28 Best Food Sources Of Vitamin D

Now, in this article, we want to show you the effects of the vitamin D on human health as well as some of the best natural sources of vitamin D including sunlight, foods, and supplements. So, if you are suffering from the symptoms of this vitamin deficiency or do not get enough of this vitamin daily, keep your eyes on this article right now.

I. Vitamin D &The Role Of Its In Health

Vitamin D plays a vital role in absorbing calcium into the bones. Vitamin D stimulates the calcium deposition in bones, making your bones stronger and healthier. Some of the best benefits of this vitamin that you should know:

  • Improve bone health 
  • Improve muscle function
  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer
  • Reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes
  • Reduce depression
  • Boost weight loss

A vitamin D deficiency can lead to a bone abnormality or a softening of the bones. Some of the common symptoms that people who are deficient in vitamin D can experience are:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Seasonal depression
  • Cancer
  • Skin problems such as psoriasis and eczema
  • Weak bones
  • Dementia

People who are at higher risks of this vitamin deficiency are those who live in areas with little sunlight exposure, people on low-fat diets, people with darker skin, and people who are taking weight loss medications.

Here is the daily vitamin D amount you need:

  • Infants: 400 IU per day
  • Age 1-70: 600 IU per day
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women: 600-2000 IU per day
  • Age 71 and older: 800 IU per day

In some cases, you need to take in more vitamin D, especially if you are prone to osteoporosis.

II. Some Natural Sources Of Vitamin D In Foods

Vitamin D is very important for overall health in general and bone health in particular. The good news is that most of us can get enough vitamin D from the exposure to sunlight. Here are some natural ways to make sure that you get an adequate vitamin D intake.

1. Sunlight

sources of vitamin d

Being exposed to sunlight can offer you enough vitamin D, but due to the skin-cancer risk, experts do not recommend this method. However, according to a study [1], about 20 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen can do wonders. The sun cannot provide your daily vitamin D requirements in the winter or if you are dark skinned or older.

When the sunlight hits your skin, it will stimulate the vitamin D production in the body. To increase your vitamin D levels through sun exposure, try to expose at least your facial skin, arms, hands, or a body skin area. Stop your sun exposure when your skin turns pink.

To know some of the best ways to help you get a tanned body naturally, read How to Get a Tan Quickly: 21 At-Home Solutions   

2. Salmon

Salmon is one of the greatest sources of vitamin D that we want to mention in his article and want all of the readers to consider consuming for good. According to a study, one serving of salmon will offer 80% of your recommended dietary requirement. The key is to consume wild or farmed salmon. Alaskan salmon has 5 times more of this vitamin than Atlantic salmon.

List of 30 Miraculous Benefits of Fish Oil for Health and Beauty will show you some of the fish oil benefits for human health, so check it out!

3. Herring And Sardines

Herring is known as one of the natural sources of vitamin D and it can be served raw, smoked, canned, or pickled. Fresh herring offers 1,628 IUs per 100g of serving while pickled herring provides 680 IUs per 100g of serving. Besides, herring contains healthy fats as well as other essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium, and iron. Nonetheless, pickled herring is also rich in sodium, so you should not consume too much.

Besides, sardines are also a great vitamin D source. One serving of sardines has about 272 IUs. A small sardine can provides you with nearly 101% of your daily requirements. Also, these tiny canned fish have high contents of vitamin B12, omega-3s, selenium and protein. The high omega-3s content helps in improving bone health, lowering cholesterol, and reducing inflammation.

See More: 24 Foods that Increase Height Fast and Naturally 

4. Canned Tuna Fish

Apart from fresh fish, canned fish is also a great way to increase your vitamin D intake. Both canned sardines and canned tuna fish are rich in vitamin D and they are often cheaper than fresh fish. Canned light tuna contains about 150 IUs vitamin D per 4 ounces whilst canned albacore tuna contains about 50 IUs vitamin D per 4 ounces. Actually, canned tuna fish is known as one of the best natural sources of vitamin D in foods that you should consider consuming more.

5. Fortified Milk

When it comes to natural sources of vitamin D, you should remember that most types of cow milk are fortified with vitamin D. Generally, a glass of milk has at least 100 IUs vitamin D while a serving of yogurt has 80 IUs. Some rice and soy milk are fortified with the same content of this vitamin, but you should check the label before purchasing.

See More: Foods High in Potassium – List of 21 Healthy Foods to Choose 

6. Certain Mushrooms

sources of vitamin d

It is amazing to know that mushrooms can produce vitamin D when they are exposed to sunlight. However, mushrooms are often grown in the dark and have no vitamin. Some specific types of mushrooms are grown in sunlight and the vitamin D content in mushrooms vary according to the variety and type. Dole's Portobello mushrooms are perfect for those who are looking for plant-based and vitamin D-rich foods. This type of mushroom can offer you 400 IUs per a cup of diced mushrooms.

7. Egg Yolks

Egg yolks are known as one of the best sources of vitamin D and they are popular in meals and dessert recipes. As vitamin D comes from egg yolk, it is necessary to use the whole egg. An egg yolk will offer you 40 IUs vitamin D, but you should not get your daily intake of this vitamin just from eggs. Keep in mind that an egg has about 200mg of cholesterol, and according to a study, we should not consume more than 300mg of cholesterol per day for heart health.

Learn More: 30 Healthy Foods High in Protein – the Best List to Choose 

8. Beef Liver

This is another one on the list of sources of vitamin D that you should know and then try to consume more in order to help you get enough this vitamin. Although it may not be an appealing source, a serving of cooked beef liver has 50 IUs vitamin D, about ¼ of the vitamin D requirement per day, as well as many other nutrients such as vitamin A, protein, and iron. Nonetheless, beef liver also has high content of cholesterol, so you should choose other sources instead. Grass-fed beef is the best option because it contains many essential nutrients.

9. Mackerels

Mackerels are another fish type with a high content of omega-3s and vitamin D. One serving of mackerel can provide you with 90% of your daily requirement of this vitamin. Therefore, those who often consume mackerels can take in these minerals and vitamins on its own.

There are some other natural sources of vitamin D in this article. So, keep reading this entire article and then try to add one or more of these vitamin D-rich foods to your daily diet for good.

10. Halibut

The sweet flavor and firm meat of halibut make it a favorite fish of many people in the world. According to a research about the nutrition of halibut [2], this flatfish contains many essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B6, and B12, phosphorus, omega-3s, and selenium. Of course, halibut is also a great source of vitamin D and 100g of halibut has about 1097 IUs vitamin D.

11. Sole/Flounder Fish

sources of vitamin d

When it comes to best sources of vitamin D, you should not skip out sole and flounder fish. Actually, sole and flounder fish contain 1/4 of your daily vitamin D requirement. The best consumption is Pacific sole and flounder fish.

12. Carp Fish

Carp fish are also another great vitamin D source. About 100g of carp fish contains 988 IUs vitamin D. Aside from vitamin D, carp fish also has many essential minerals and vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, riboflavin, niacin, zinc, magnesium, copper, and sodium.

See more: List of Common Foods High in Magnesium – 19 Foods 

13. Swordfish

Swordfish is another great addition to the list sources of vitamin D. This delicious variety offers many health benefits, and one of them is that one serving of swordfish provides you with about 566 IUs vitamin D.

14. Cod Liver Oil

Although its name has less-than-savory flavor, this oil is usually flavored with citrus or mint or found in capsule form. A tbsp. of cod liver oil has about 1,300 IUs, more than nearly twice the daily vitamin D requirement of 600 IUs. 

According to a study about vitamin D in cod liver oil [3], this oil has become popular and is very rich in vitamin D, vitamin A, as well as omega-3s. The regular consumption of cod liver oil will promote strong bones, improve brain activity, and simultaneously prevent osteoporosis in adults.

15. Orange Juice

Surprisingly, you can take in vitamin D from orange juice. A glass of fortified orange juice often has about 100 IUs vitamin D. However, not all brands of orange juice are fortified, so remember to check the label. You can consider packaged orange juices if you do not have fresh oranges available. This is one of the best sources of vitamin D for those who do not like dairy products.

16. Fortified Cereal

If you are looking for natural food sources of vitamin D, fortified cereals may be one of your great options for you. You should opt for a low-calorie fortified cereal to get vitamin D or combine it with a cup of fortified milk. Choose the cereals that contain more than 100 IUs vitamin D. All fruit-flavored cereals offer 131 IUs of this vitamin while bran cereals offer 11 IUs vitamin D.

17.  Salami

sources of vitamin d

About 100g of salami offers about 62 IUs of D vitamin while 100g of sausages offers 55 IUs of this vitamin. Although ham, salami, and sausages are great vitamin D sources, they are also rich in sodium and can cause your cholesterol levels to increase. Consuming salami and ham too much can increase the risks of hypertension, stroke, and heart attack. 

18. Ricotta Cheese

Other natural sources of vitamin D that you should know must include Ricotta cheese. Actually, Ricotta cheese is known as a great vitamin D source among all of the milk by-products. Also, it has 5 times more of this vitamin than other types of cheese. It contains about 25 IU per serving.

19. Soy Milk

As we know that soy milk is a plant-based milk that is produced by grinding some soybeans soaked in water. While soy milk has the same content of protein as regular cow milk, this type of milk also has high contents of vitamins C, D, and iron.

Check also: A List of 38 Best Foods High in Fiber 

20. Pork

When you are looking for natural sources of vitamin D, you should not skip out pork. One serving of pork can provide you with 88 IUs vitamin D, accounting for about 1/7 of your daily allowance. The most content of the vitamin D can be found in ribs and the vitamin D content in pork varies by preparation.

21. Sour Cream

Aside from enhancing the flavor of your snacks, the sour cream also contains high contents of vitamin A, vitamin D, proteins, potassium, and calcium. Moreover, a tablespoon of sour cream has just 28 calories, so it is actually a healthy choice for you. Actually, sour cream is one of the best natural sources of vitamin D in foods that you should not look down, yet try to add it to your snacks as soon as possible.

22. Butter

The good news for butter lovers is that this ‘fatty’ food contains a small content vitamin D.

Actually, butter is saturated fat that helps with the absorption of vitamins and antioxidants by the body. Just remember that quantity is very important. Do not consume butter too much. When you consume butter in moderation, it can be a great addition to your diet.

23. Vanilla Yogurt

sources of vitamin d

Consuming a cup of yogurt is a great option for those who want to take in vitamin D. Each serving of vanilla yogurt contains about 115 IUs of the vitamin D. Choose a vitamin D-fortified yogurt to get 20% of your daily requirement. However, this option may not be a good idea for weight watchers because a cup of vanilla yogurt has about 208 calories.

Check also: Top 10 Foods That Burn Belly Fat Naturally and Quickly 

24. Margarine

Margarine is fortified with vitamin D, making it a delicious option for those who want to get more vitamin D. Also, it is a greater alternative to regular butter because it has less saturated fats than butter. Addition to this, margarine is also rich in omega-3s and monounsaturated fats, making it a great choice for your breakfast.

Do you want to know other natural sources of vitamin D in foods that you should include in your daily diet to boost your vitamin D production? Continue reading this entire article and then consider consuming more of these foods for good.  

 25. Caviar

Caviar is often added to your sushi and 100g serving of caviar offers about 232 IUs of D vitamin.

This has a luscious taste and maybe a wonderful appetizer for dieters in the world. According to a study about caviar nutrition [4], caviar is a great source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, B6 and K, selenium, iron, calcium, magnesium, folates, phosphorus, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid.

26. Oysters

Raw oysters have 320 IUs of this vitamin D for every 100 grams, accounting for 80% of your daily requirement for vitamin D. Moreover, oysters are also rich in vitamin B12, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, and selenium. Before consuming them, you should properly cook them to kill off the harmful bacteria in them. Besides, a note for you is that oysters are rich in cholesterol; therefore, you should consume them in moderation, especially if you have cardiovascular ailments.

Read more: List of 10 Foods High in Uric Acid to Avoid 

27. Shrimp

About 85g of shrimp has 139 IUs vitamin D. Also, it has high contents of omega-3s, selenium, protein, antioxidants [5] and less fat. Therefore, you can feel free to consume it without worrying about weight gain. In fact, this is known as one of the best sources of vitamin D that many people often include in their diet. 

 28. Supplements

This is the last one among best sources of vitamin D that we want to mention in this entire article and want all of our readers to consider taking for good. Vitamin D supplements can provide you with proper daily vitamin D without worrying about the skin cancer risk. Besides, you do not need to split up your vitamin D intake; simply, take it all at one time. However, excessive intake of this vitamin can be toxic. The upper limit is at 4,000 IUs for those at the age of 9 and older. That includes all of the vitamin D sources such as food, supplements and sun exposure.

The overdose of D vitamin can cause a few health conditions such as poor appetite, nausea, constipation, weakness, weight loss and kidney damage. So, consult your doctor about your proper dose.

In this article, we revealed some of the best vitamin D-rich foods and where you can find them. So, do not hesitate to get your dose of D vitamin. If you think that this list on AllRemedies.com is helpful for other people around you who are suffering from bone-related diseases or those who do not get enough vitamin D daily, feel free to share this list with them as soon as possible. One more thing, if you know any other sources of vitamin D in foods, remember to share with other readers in the comment box below.

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