10 Foods Containing Vitamin D

heart healthy diet planAlthough we can find many foods in the supermarket that have been fortified with a synthetic form of Vitamin D, there are only a select number of foods containing vitamin D in them naturally.

Normally, our body takes in Vitamin D in the form of sun-synthesis through the skin. But in our modern times, where many of us spend countless hours inside houses, cars and shopping malls, our actual exposure to the sun is limited. This fact may be a principle cause of many ailments, including depression. For this reason, it is extremely important to have a diet high in Vitamin D or take a vitamin D supplement.

This is my ‘List of Foods Containing Vitamin D’, as well as some of the great potential benefits of the vitamin. (In no particular order)

Top Foods Containing Vitamin D

Shiitake & Button Mushrooms: Surprisingly, the dried versions of shiitake mushrooms are high in Vitamin D. This may be due to the fact that these mushrooms are adept at sucking up sunlight. Shiitake is also rich in B Vitamins like B1 & B2. Make sure that you find mushrooms that have been dried in the sun, not by some artificial means, in order to extract the benefits of high Vitamin D content.

Mackerel: A small, 3½ ounce portion of this Omega-3 rich fish will give you 90% of the recommended daily amount. Currently, the FDA recommends that we eat more of these oily fishes to infuse our bodies with the vitamins and omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA’s) that our body cannot produce on its own.

Sockeye Salmon: A small 3½ ounces portion of cooked salmon will give you 90% of the Dietary Reference Intake for Vitamin D. Make sure to purchase salmon that has been caught from the wild, if not, then sustainably farmed. Salmon eat zooplankton, an excellent source of the important vitamin.

Herring: Fish like herring are so high in vitamin D because they are the part of our food chain that thrive on plankton, which is chocked full of the vitamin.

Sardines: Sardines are one of the best foods containing Vitamin D. One small tin can of sardines will provide you with approximately 70% of your daily needs. These tiny canned fish are also a great source for Vitamin B12, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, protein and selenium.

Catfish: Again, another fish that makes a habit of feeding on plankton, catfish are constantly taking in minuscule sea life that create vitamin D from sunlight.

Tuna fish: Eat 3 ounces of tuna daily for 50% of your Vitamin D needs. Fresh, wild-caught tuna is the most nutritious. Remember, eating oily fish can also lubricate the body with “good fats,” providing a host of health benefits to your body, like better memory and brain function.

Cod Liver Oil: If you can stomach the strong aroma, this oil is super-rich in sunlight Vitamin D. This marvelously golden, yet terrible-tasting oil, is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Incorporating this oil into your diet will help you increase your bones ability to stay strong and healthy. Because of its high Vitamin D content, cod liver oil has also been shown to prevent osteoporosis in adult, improve brain function and optimize the functioning of the nervous system. What is more, the oil holds 10,000 IUs of vitamin D. One tablespoon of the oil provides more than enough Vitamin D for the day.

Eggs: Eggs are another food containing vitamin D in small amounts. Eating one egg will provide you with approximately 10% of your daily needs. I would personally recommend to eat free-range eggs from a local farm, if possible.

Sunshine: Okay, we know it’s not a food, but daily “doses” of sunshine can seriously up your Vitamin D intake. In fact, this vitamin has actually been referred to as the sunshine vitamin. Light hitting the skin from the sun’s rays stimulates the production of this vitamin and hormone. This is great news for those of us that can take a sun-bath daily. But for those of us in colder, cloudier climates, we can up our intake from the foods we eat. This could explain why Native Inuit people in Alaska ate so much fish!

There are many reasons to stock up on foods containing vitamin D. Health benefits of the vitamin include:

* The prevention of chronic diseases such as many forms of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension.

* The protection and lubrication of your bones, teeth and hair.

* The regulation of cellular growth and healthy cell activity

* Overall reduction of the inflammatory response, a condition known to cause many chronic diseases, from cancer to diabetes to obesity.

* Protection against adult osteoporosis

* Reduction in the risk of breast cancer in perimenopausal women

* Significant reduction in the occurrence of prostate cancer in African-American men

As I mentioned above, if you are a vegetarian or don’t eat fish, you can still get the same benefits by taking a vitamin d supplement or make sure to get plenty of sun on a daily basis.

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Dr. Edward Group

Dr. Edward F. Group III has his Naturopathic Doctorate, Clinical Herbalist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Clinical Nutritionist certifications, and is a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition and the American Board of Functional Medicine. He founded Global Healing Center Inc. in 1998 which has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

A dynamic author and speaker, Dr. Group focuses solely on spreading the message of health and wellness to the global community with the philosophy of full body cleansing, most importantly colon cleansing, consuming pure clean organic food, water, air, exercise and nutritional supplementation. Visit GlobalHealingCenter.com to learn more about living green and healthy!

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  1. rhotini says

    Thanks for providing all the food sources that are rich in vitamin D. Regarding the role vitamin D plays in cancer prevention, I ran across an article that had convincing scientific references. The article stated: “Epidemiological studies demonstrate that a daily dose of 1500 IU of Vitamin D resulted in a 17% reduction of total cancer, a 29% reduction in cancer mortality, a 43% decrease risk of cancer of the digestive system as well as a 45% decrease in mortality.” This is from Vitamin D and Cancer Article

  2. Glenn O'Dell says

    You say that A small, 3½ ounce portion of mackeral will give you 90% of the recommended daily amount. Recommended by whom? I see recomndations ranging from 400 IU to 5000 IU. So does the mackeral give us 360 IU or 4500 IU? Numbers, please.

  3. M. A. says

    Any comment on the issue of bisphenol A in these cans of tuna, mackerel, sardines, etc.? Are we simply trading one health problem for another one?

  4. JDP says

    The value of one’s daily vitamin d requirement has been in contention lately. It would have been more informative if the International Unit amount of D in salmon, tuna and the rest had been listed. These fishy sources also provide plenty of vitamin A which, if I’m not mistaken, counters the absorption of D. So, what would the net vitamin D absorbed be from these sources. That’s the bottom line that would actually count.

  5. Anonymous says

    How are mushrooms “adept at sucking up sunlight”? They are not photosynthetic. So what does that statement mean?

  6. Anonymous says

    Anonymous six…although mushrooms naturally contain vitamin D they can in fact absorb UV light and very readily do so when exposed. It’s just a different form of Vitamin D (D2) that is produced than the kind made in human or animal skin.

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