Vitamin D also referred by some as a hormone is a vital nutrient when it comes to the healthy well being of an individual. Our body cannot make this vitamin on its own and needs sunlight to synthesize it. Since most of the time, we fail to receive sunlight owing to the sedentary lifestyle it gets very important that we include vitamin D rich foods in our daily diet. Sharing the list of top 25 vitamin D rich foods you need to include in your diet.
Table Of Content:
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is one of the crucial nutrients that our body needs in order to stay healthy and fit. Since Vitamin D cannot be created by the body, it is important that we take it through our diet. Though our body cannot create this vitamin, it can synthesize it naturally when we are exposed to sunlight. This is the reason it is also called “sunshine vitamin”. A bare skin exposure of 5 to 10 minutes two to three times a week is considered to be sufficient to produce the required amount of vitamin D.
Functions Of Vitamin D
It is very essential for the body to have vitamin D in order to absorb calcium; one of the most important benefits that we get from vitamin D. Lack of Vitamin D might lead to softening of bones called as rickets in children and fragile bones in adults called osteomalacia. There are other important body functions for which vitamin D is needed;
‣ Maintains healthy bone and teeth
‣ Helps with the defence mechanism of the body by boosting the immune system.
‣ Prevents various types of cancer
‣ Helps in controlling blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases
Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some of the vitamin D deficiency symptoms include:
‣ Osteoporosis, brittle bones or frequent bone fractures.
‣ Muscle weakness
‣ High blood pressure
‣ Fatigue and exhaustion
‣ Gut issue
‣ Loss of hair
‣ Anxiety and depression
Recommended Amount Of Vitamin D
As suggested by National Institute of Health, the recommended amounts of vitamin D for people of different life stages are:
How To Get Vitamin D?
Although we get vitamin D boost from the sunlight, the kind of lifestyle we are living does not allow us to get that boost. We spend most of our day staying indoors either in the office or at home. Even when we are out we apply sunscreen which interferes with sufficient exposure of skin to sunlight. Certain weather conditions such as long winters or rainy season also reduce our storage of this sunshine vitamin. It is, therefore, very important that we consume food that contains vitamin D. Sharing in detail the list of such top 25 vitamin D rich foods:
Vitamin D Rich Foods:
1. Fortified Yogurt: Yogurt is not only good for gut health but is also a very good source of vitamin D when fortified. (Fortified food are that food in which some extra nutrients have been added like vitamin A, vitamin D, iron, folic acid etc.) It can give somewhere between 10 to 20 percent daily requirement of vitamin D to the body.
[ Also Read: 5 Signs Of Vitamin A Deficiency To Watch Out For]
2. Orange Juice: A cup of orange juice (fortified) can give a good amount of vitamin depending on the brand that is being consumed. These brands may contain high sugar so for diabetics, it is advised to consider other food items for intake of vitamin D.
3.Oatmeal: Oatmeal is also fortified with vitamin D like many other whole grain products. One packet of fortified oatmeal provides 26% of the daily value of vitamin D.
4. Cereals: There are some cereals which contain vitamin D. It will be prudent to check the label before buying the cereal to get an idea of vitamin D content in it. Bran cereals can be considered for the same since they can contain up to 131 IU of vitamin D.
5. Soy Milk: In addition to 6% daily requirement of calcium, soy milk gives Vitamin D. This vitamin D offering equals to 14% of the daily value.
6. Tofu: Tofu is also a source of vitamin D, calcium and protein.
7. Mushroom: While growing mushroom remains exposed to sunlight which results in an increase of its vitamin D content. Of all the varieties button mushroom is considered to be the best. A study has found that when mushrooms are exposed to the sun for around an hour before consuming them then they can provide as much vitamin D as a health supplement.
8. Milk: Whole milk fortified with vitamin D can give up to 21% of the daily required value of Vitamin D.
9. Cheese: Cheese is a viable source of vitamin D and C especially goat, ricotta and swizz. Adding a slice or shredded cheese to sandwich pasta is a good idea to increase intake of vitamin D.
10.Butter: It is a good idea to consume butter in moderation since it has vitamin D in it. Though the amount is low, it is worth.
11. Sour Cream: In addition to potassium and calcium sour cream provides vitamin D as well.
12. Almond Milk: Almond milk fortified with vitamin D are easily available in the market. It is a great source of vitamin D for those who do not prefer animal milk.
13. Chocolate Milk: Chocolate milk is a good option to include as a vitamin D option. However, it must be taken in moderation. In addition, it also contains calcium and protein.
14. Salmon Fish: Of many vitamin D rich foods salmon is an excellent one. It can provide 60 % to more than 100% of the daily recommended amount of the vitamin D.
15.Mackerels: Amongst various sources of Vitamin D, Mackerels are considered to be an excellent source of vitamin D and omega 3. It can give as high as 90% recommended amount of Vitamin in 3.5 ounces of serving.
16. Herring: Since these fishes feed on plankton ( which are loaded with Vitamin D), they themselves become one of the vitamin D rich foods.
17. Cod Liver Oil: Cod liver oil is consumed as a supplement which is loaded with omega -3, Vitamin A and vitamin D.
18. Sardines: Another excellent addition to vitamin-rich foods is Sardines. They can give up to 70% of the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D.
19. Canned Tuna: Light tuna is considered safer over white tune (because of its mercury content) and it provides around 40% of daily requirement of vitamin D in a small serving.
20. Eggs: Eggs contain a small though a significant amount of vitamin D. One egg can give 10% of the recommended amount of vitamin D.
21. Oysters: It is a good source of vitamin D along with vitamin B12, iron, copper as zinc.
22. Shrimp: Rich in omega -3, antioxidants and protein Shrimp can provide 5 IU of vitamin D in one serving of 100 grams.
23. Beef Liver: As a source of vitamin D, the beef liver can offer around 1% of the daily requirement of vitamin D.
24. Pork Tenderloin: Less in fat, it is a very good source of vitamin D and gives around 2% of the recommended dose in a 100-gram serving
25. Caviar: Fish eggs (caviar) is rich in vitamin, mineral and essential fats. It can give 117 IU of Vitamin D.
A Quick Look At The Vitamin D Fruits And Vegetable List:
This may surprise you! None of the fruits is known to be rich in Vitamin D. Although, many juice brands have come up with orange juice which is fortified with vitamin D as it is not naturally present in the fruit. Vegetables and grains contain vitamin D but in a very low amount.
Vitamin D content of some common food as per Dietitians Of Canada:
Vitamin D is a very important nutrient for our body. Deficiency of this vitamin might lead to several health complications. It is therefore imperative that our diet includes vitamin D rich food items.