Vitamin D is one of the essential nutrients required for good health. It is produced by your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Therefore, it is also called the 'sunshine vitamin. However, most people are deficient in this vitamin due to their indoor work culture and sunblock cosmetic usage.
Vitamin D is important for good immune health, bone development, absorption of calcium, etc. A deficiency of Vitamin D in your body can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, poor hair growth, and diseases like rickets.
On the contrary, excess Vitamin D in your body can cause an excessive build-up of calcium, increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, etc. Therefore, choose the right Vitamin D food sources for optimal absorption based on your physician's advice.
Vitamin D is fat-soluble, so you need to consume foods rich in essential fats to absorb it within your body. Here are six healthy Vitamin D rich foods you can consider consuming for the necessary Vitamin D requirements.
Vitamin D-Rich Foods for Better Health
- Salmon - Salmon is a rich source of Vitamin D. It is stored in the liver and fat tissues of the fish. You can eat it boiled, toasted, or grilled based on your preference. 100g of sockeye salmon contains 526 IU Vitamin D. Salmons also contain omega-3 fatty acids and essential proteins to improve your immune, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems. Get to the source to buy fresh fish at an affordable rate.
- Herring, Sardines, Tuna - Like salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, tuna, and other oily and fatty fishes are foods that contain Vitamin D. Herring and sardines are similar small fishes that provide a good flavor. You can consume it by cooking with traditional spices, onions, tomatoes, etc., for rice or in the picked form to be more flavorful. Herring and sardines also have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids essential for good heart health and brain development. Canned tuna also contains a higher level of Vitamin D. Make a quick and delicious food with tuna as a salad or sandwich for enriched benefits.
- Cod liver oil - Cod liver oil is a preferred food choice to increase the Vitamin D levels in the body for those who don't eat fish. It is a rich source of Vitamin D that can treat a deficiency. 100g of cod liver oil contains 10,000 IU Vitamin D. One teaspoon, which is 4.5g, contains 450 IU Vitamin D. Cod liver oil also contains Vitamin A. High amounts of Vitamin A can be toxic to your body. Therefore, it is important to keep consumption under control. Discuss the intake with your dietician before deciding.
- Mushrooms - When grown in sunlight with good exposure to UV light, Mushrooms are rich in Vitamin D. It is one of the most preferred sources of Vitamin D foods for vegetarians. Mushrooms convert a precursor to Vitamin D into Vitamin D2 when exposed to UV light. Although it is technically different from Vitamin D3 present in animal products, it is absorbable by the body. Ensure to find out the nature of cultivation and source for the best benefits from mushrooms. You can bake, pan-fry, or grill it for tasty and healthy mushroom dishes.
- Eggs - Eggs are always considered a rich source of protein. However, the egg yolk, which many people avoid considering the fat content, is a rich Vitamin D food. 100g of egg yolk contains 218 IU Vitamin D. The Vitamin D levels present in the egg yolk will depend on the sun's exposure to the chicken feed. Therefore, prefer buying eggs from the hens raised on the farm than commercially raised hens for the best absorption of Vitamin D. People who don't eat fish should consider including eggs in their diet for increasing the Vitamin D levels in the body. You can consume eggs by making a variety of tasty dishes.
- Fortified foods - Some food products that do not contain Vitamin D are fortified with it to provide the essential benefits. If you are a vegetarian and don't prefer eating fish, fortified Vitamin D rich foods can be a good choice. Fortified cow's milk, plant-based substitutes like soy milk, orange juice, cereals, and oatmeal have rich Vitamin D content. Though these food types provide lesser Vitamin D levels than natural sources, it is a good way to boost your intake and increase Vitamin D levels.
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Vitamin D, also called the sunshine vitamin, is an important requirement for your body. It can help build a healthy immune system, increase bone strength, and prevent various cardiovascular diseases. The best source of Vitamin D is sunlight. However, as many people restrict their exposure due to lifestyle changes, it has increased the deficiency of Vitamin D in them. Therefore, it is important to know some of the healthy foods that can increase the Vitamin D levels in your body. The best sources are fatty fish, egg yolks, mushrooms, cod liver oil, and fortified foods. Consult a dietician to understand the required levels of Vitamin D and decide on the right foods to enhance your well-being!