5 Foods High in Vitamin D
Vitamin D is needed in the body for a variety of reasons. The body needs vitamin D for the immune system to fight off germs and for the bones, and blood cells, to name a few uses. Most vitamin D comes from sunlight, but there are also foods that can help keep your level of this vitamin where it needs to be.
Most people need 15 mcg of this vitamin on a daily basis. As you age or certain health issues arise, you can become low on vitamin D. Some of the more common symptoms of being low on this vitamin are fatigue, achiness in bones or muscles, getting sick more frequently, and trouble sleeping. A family doctor can order a blood test to check your levels, ensuring you are within the needed levels.
Some foods can help you keep your levels in a healthy range, especially if you are not exposed to sunlight, as people in the northern United States are not as frequently in the winter. Check out the list below of the top 5 foods to consume.
- Salmon – This fish is a great source of vitamin D. It only takes a 3-ounce serving to give the body the daily amount needed. The range is anywhere between 10-18 mcg. Other fish that are considered “fatty fish,” such as sardines, mackerel, and herring, also provide the body with a nice boost in this vitamin.
- Yogurt – This healthy snack will help boost your vitamin intake. Most yogurts have 3 mcg per 8-ounce serving. Picking yogurts that are plain and not flavored helps to cut down on added ingredients and sugar.
- Milk/Non-Dairy Milk– For milk, this drink is a little more well known for its part in providing the body with vitamin D. Every cup of milk is fortified with 3 mcg. This is not only for whole milk but for chocolate milk and also low-fat milks. A great way to start your day is with a cup of milk. For the non-dairy options, some people cannot tolerate milk products, but even the non-dairy milks will help give your body a boost by being fortified with this particular vitamin. Some of these include almond, rice, or soy, all carrying 2.5 to 3 mcg of vitamin D. Be sure to check the label as some of these non-dairy milks can contain added ingredients and sugar.
- Portabella Mushrooms – This particular mushroom is packed full of vitamin D. Per 3 ounces of one of these super mushrooms. You will receive 8 mcg. This mushroom can even be used as a meat substitute and an easy way to boost your level of vitamin D for the day.
- Orange Juice – This is one time when buying from the store may help. If you squeeze the oranges to make homemade orange juice, you won’t get vitamin D. This vitamin does not come from the oranges themselves; it is fortified in the factory where they make the orange juice. When purchasing this juice, look for the statement “fortified with vitamin D” on the label to ensure you are getting this benefit. There is typically 2.5 mcg per cup of this juice.
Staying healthy is an important factor. The foods above are a simple way to ensure your vitamin D levels stay where they need to be to fulfill a healthy and happy long life.