Our society now goes through a lot of terms, from the information age to the indoor generation.
That’s not for no reason.
People spend more time indoors than they did in the past.
According to the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, the average American spends 93% of their life indoors(1).
Since sun exposure is one of our primary sources of vitamin D, we have to look for other ways to get our daily recommended intake of 400 – 800 IU (10 – 20 micrograms) of vitamin D per day(2).
Some studies even show that a minimum of 1,000 IU (25 micrograms) per day is needed for optimal health, with an upper limit of 4,000 IU (100 micrograms)(3).
That’s why we came up with a list of 7 tasty foods rich in vitamin D, to make it easier for you to maintain your bone health, support your immune system and cardiovascular health.
#1 Wild-Caught Salmon
Most oily fish contain a lot of vitamin D, and salmon is one of the best fish to get it from.
With an average vitamin D concentration of 988 IU per serving/100 grams you’ve almost reached your daily recommended intake.
Even if you choose to go with farmed salmon, you’ll still be able to benefit from approximately 400 IU per serving/ 100 grams.
#2 Canned Tuna
For those of you who prefer a more convenient and cheaper way of consuming oily fish, canned tuna is more suitable for you.
The only downside of it is that it contains methylmercury which can have severe consequences for your health(7).
To prevent methylmercury from building up inside your body, a maximum amount of 170 grams per week (equal to 401 IU of vitamin D) is a safe guideline to follow(8).
You can use canned tuna in a lot of ways:
- Throw it into your salad
- Eat it with some mayonnaise (not the healthiest option)
- Or mix it through your vegetable soup
#3 Whole Eggs
For the vegetarians and keto lovers among us, eggs are a great source of vitamin D with up to 6,000 IU per yolk for chickens who are given vitamin D enriched food(9).
If you prefer a more organic approach, your best bet will be pasture-raised chickens which have a lot of sun exposure.
The only thing with these eggs is that they contain about 110 IU(10) which is much less than the before mentioned “super” chickens.
#4 Wild/ UV Enriched Mushrooms
We can’t let our vegans down, so here’s your first option on the list.
Although mushrooms contain vitamin D2 instead of D3 (D2 is not as effective as D3) it’s still better than nothing, so squeeze it in wherever you can.
A study shows that wild mushrooms contain up to 2,300 IU per serving/100 grams(12), which is more than the minimum recommended daily intake.
One of the best ways to enjoy your wild mushrooms is in the form of a veggie burger!
#5 Fortified Milk
Fortified milk like cow’s and soy milk are great sources of vitamin D and calcium.
Cow’s milk (fortified) contains about 130 IU per 237ml but keep in mind that cow’s milk is not fortified in every country.
Soy milk contains about 110 IU per 237ml as most countries fortify the soy milk to make it easier for vegans to get their vitamin D.
#6 Fortified Orange Juice
If you’re lactose intolerant, orange juice is a great substitute to drink.
Just be aware of the fact that there’s a lot of sugar in it, so limit your consumption to one glass (or serving) per day for the sake of your teeth.
Governments fortify orange juice for the same reason as with soy milk, to make it easier for the vegans (and vegetarians) among us.
With 142 IU of vitamin D per 237ml you can start your day off right if you drink this with your oatmeal breakfast.
#7 Instant Oatmeal
Your typical instant oatmeal contains between 55 and 154 IU per serving/64 grams.
Although this is on the lower end of foods on this list, it can still add up to an increase of vitamin D levels in your body.
No idea how to take your oatmeal game to the next level?
Try one of these recipes, and maybe you’ll be able to enjoy your oatmeal for the first time of your life!
We want you to consume enough vitamin D per day to prevent you from becoming a vampire.
That’s why we have some great tips to make your diet more vitamin D friendly below.
- Start your day off with a breakfast that consists of instant oatmeal (or eggs) and a glass of soy milk or orange juice.
- When eating lunch and dinner, try to include mushrooms into your go-to pack of veggies.
- For our non-vegans (or vegetarians), include more fish like salmon and tuna into your diet.
To end this article with a bonus tip: Try to spend more time outside, experts say that only 20 – 30 minutes of sun exposure, 3 times a week, can boost your vitamin D levels significantly.