Foods That Are High In Vitamin D

No doubt the sun provides some of the vitamin D you need in your body.

It turns out that people living in places where the sun is not strong enough may have to get their vitamin D from their diet. Neglecting to eat the vitamin D meals might mean having to deal with vitamin D deficiency.

In a study done at the end of winter by the University of Maine close to half of the people tested had vitamin D deficiency.

This has also been blamed on the growing use of sunscreen in a bid to block UVB rays, which are required by the body to synthesize vitamin D. Aging is a factor when it comes to inability to produce vitamin D.

Why Do You Need Vitamin D?

Your body is known to synthesize vitamin D when exposed to sunlight naturally.

One of its major functions is helping the body to absorb calcium for stronger bones better. People with vitamin D deficiency are likely to have weaker bones and even suffer from osteoporosis.

Growing evidence also suggests that vitamin D is useful when it comes to regulating the immune system. It also has the ability to protect you against depression and may also help lower blood pressure.

Vitamin D is effective when it comes to reducing the risk of developing diabetes, certain cancers, and high blood pressure.

In a 2014 study, vitamin D deficiency was found to increase the risk of premature death by more than two times. That’s mainly due to the many health risks that come as a result of low vitamin D in the body.

While the vitamin D recommended dietary allowance (RDA) has been set at 600 IU for individuals under 70 years and 800 IU for those above 70 years, this could be much lower than what you actually need.

If you talk to a physician, you are likely to be advised to take over 2,000 milligrams of vitamin D on a daily basis, if you have lower levels of blood. Unless you are eating vitamin D foods, it is highly likely that you aren’t taking as much vitamin D as you should.

What foods are highest in vitamin D?

If you are not getting enough vitamin D from the sun, then it is advisable that you do eat the right foods. But it is not possible to know just what to eat to up your vitamin D intake.

1. Salmon

Fatty fishes such as salmon are known to be some of the best sources of vitamin D. Nutritionists estimate that 3.5 ounces of salmon have 361 IU to 685 IU of vitamin D.

However, it seems like wild salmon scores highly when it comes the vitamin D content than its farmed counterpart.

According to the results of one research study, salmon caught from the wild has an average vitamin D content of 988 IU in every 3.5-ounce serving.

That’s much higher than the recommended daily allowance of 600 IU. In other studies, salmon caught in the wild was found to have a much higher vitamin D content of up to 1,300 IU.

Although still a good source of vitamin D, farmed salmon was established to contain only 25 percent of the amount supplied by their wild counterparts.

It is, however, important to point out that with a 250 IU content of vitamin D, farmed salmon will still help you meet your daily needs.

2. Herring and Sardines

As one of the most popular fishes in the world, herring is one of the best ways to consume Vitamin d.

In every 3.5-ounce serving of fresh herring, there is up to 1,628 IU of vitamin D which is much higher than the recommended daily intake of 600 IU.

The alternative is pickled herring, which will supply you with 680 IU of vitamin D from every 3.5-ounce serving. That’s more than enough vitamin D you need any single day.

The only issue is that pickled herring might inflate the amount of sodium you eat in a day.

Herring also exists in the form of sardines, from which you can get high amounts of vitamin D. One serving of sardines contains over 271 IU of vitamin D. Other fatty fish that contain high amounts of vitamin D include mackerel and halibut.

3. Egg Yolk

If you are not a fan of seafood, why not try eating whole eggs.

Apart from being highly nutritious, egg yolk is one of the great sources of vitamin D. Of course, in just one egg yolk raised in a conventional way, you will get up to 39 IU of vitamin D. That might not be very high but it is substantial.

The best egg yolk is that produced by pasture-raised chicken, which is allowed to walk in the bright sunlight.

It has been established that these types of eggs contain up to four times the amount of vitamin D supplied by their conventional counterparts.

The best egg yolk is from chickenfeed on feeds enriched with vitamin D. These are known to provide vitamin D by as much as 6,000 IU in a single egg yolk. It is, therefore essential to know exactly which type eggs you should eat.

4. Oysters

Oysters are generally delicious, nutrient-dense, and with a low-calorie count.

They are a good source of vitamin D. A 3.5-ounce serving of oyster may contain only 68 calories but supplies vitamin D by up to 320 IU. That is much more vitamin D than what you will need in a day.

The reason oysters are considered nutrient-dense is the fact that they contain high amounts of zinc, copper, and vitamin B-12. Even some of the best multi-vitamins cannot compete.

5. Canned Tuna






Because of its light flavor, canned tuna is a favorite of many people.

Although it cost much less than fresh fish, you will get vitamin D in amounts of 236 IU in a 3.5-ounce serving.

That can significantly add up to the total vitamin D you need in a day. Apart from that, you will get more than an adequate supply of vitamin K.


6. Shrimp


One of the reasons to consider shrimp as a source of vitamin D is the fact that it has a very low-fat content.

The vitamin D content of shrimp is up to 152 IU in every 3.5-ounce serving.

Because of its low content of fats, shrimp has small amounts of omega-2 oils, which is better than nothing at all.

Shrimp may, however, increase your daily value of dietary cholesterol intake, although this has been established not to affect blood cholesterol levels.

You, therefore, have every reason to continue including shrimp in your diet, given that eating more cholesterol isn’t a huge issue. In one study, it was established that eating foods high in cholesterol doesn’t affect you in any significant way.

7. Mushrooms

Not many plants have a high vitamin D content with mushrooms being an exception.

When grown in the sun, mushrooms can synthesize vitamin D just like humans do.

While mushrooms contain vitamin D2, animal sources have vitamin D3.

Studies have established a difference in the way these two type of vitamin D act in the body. Of, course vitamin D2 help raise the levels of vitamin D in the blood. However, the more effective one is vitamin D3.

The best vitamin D foods include wild mushrooms which may require a maximum of 2,300 IU in every 3.5-serving. As for the commercially raised variety of mushrooms, which are grown away from the sun, the vitamin D2 content is not that high.

The commercial mushrooms that have undergone UV treatment may contain between 130 IU and 450 IU of vitamin D in every 3.5-ounce serving.

8. Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil is mainly used as a supplement, suitable for individuals who don’t like a diet containing fish.

It has a high vitamin D content, which basically stands at 450 IU in a teaspoonful.

It is for this reason that it has been used as a healthy supplement for young children.

Apart from vitamin D, cod liver oil also contains high amounts of vitamin A and omega-3 oils. Only that you shouldn’t take too much cod liver oil since a high vitamin A intake could be toxic.

9. Fortified foods

Because of the limited number of natural foods that contain vitamin D, it is important that you try out the fortified variety.

In this category of vitamin D in foods, you may want to sample cow’s milk, soy milk, orange juice, cereal, and oatmeal.

These foods are meant to help vegetarians and individuals on a vegan diet to supplement their vitamin D needs. Some of these foods may contain up to 237 IU of vitamin D.


There is no better way to get vitamin D except sunshine. However, if getting enough exposure to the sun is not possible for you, then eating the right foods is the next best option.

From our list of the best vitamin D foods, you should be able to find one that best works for you. Include them in your diet, and you will never again have to worry about suffering from vitamin D deficiency.


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