Vitamin D performs a number of key roles in the body. A deficiency in this essential vitamin can affect everything from hormonal balance to immune function. Unlike other vitamins, food is not the primary source of vitamin D. Instead, the body naturally synthesizes the vitamin when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
During the summer months, that usually isn’t a problem since there is plenty of sunshine to go around. During the winter, however, things become a little bit more challenging – especially in northern climates where there are few hours of daylight and sunshine is in short supply. In order to ensure that your body is getting enough of this important vitamin, you may need to take a supplement.
Alternatively, you can add vitamin D-rich foods to your diet. There are very few foods out there that are naturally rich in vitamin D. However, there are many foods on the market that are fortified with this essential vitamin. Below are five delicious foods that contain vitamin D.
Eating wild-caught fish like salmon, mackerel, cod, and tuna can provide your body with a significant amount of vitamin D. For instance, 3 ounces of salmon provides 400 IU of vitamin D, which is 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). If you don’t like the taste of fish, you can always supplement your diet with cod liver oil. This oil can be consumed in pill form, giving you all of the benefits of naturally occurring vitamin D without having to eat fish in the process.
The vitamin D that is found in milk does not occur naturally. Instead, milk is fortified with vitamin D in an effort to make sure that people are getting enough of it in their diets. Typically, a glass of milk will provide you with approximately 100 IU of vitamin D. That means that you would need to drink four glasses of milk to get the recommended amount of vitamin D each day from this single source.
Like milk, yogurt is often fortified with vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D in each serving of yogurt varies, depending on the brand and the style of yogurt. You should be able to find this information on the nutrition label that is printed on the container.
Another naturally-occurring source of vitamin D can be found in eggs. Each large egg contains approximately 40 IU of vitamin D. Although this is a relatively small amount, it can add up if you eat multiple eggs or if you eat them in conjunction with other foods that are rich in vitamin D.
Although liver is something that most people don’t eat on a regular basis, it does contain vitamin D. Typically, beef liver contains approximately 40 IU of vitamin D in each 3-ounce serving.
Eating foods that contain vitamin D is a great way to make sure that you are meeting your body’s nutritional needs. This is especially important during the winter months when there may not be enough sunshine for your body to produce vitamin D on its own.