Vitamin D is fat soluble vitamin that plays very important role in human body. If you are deficient in vitamin D, you might feel pain in bones, muscle weakness, excessive fatigue and tiredness in body. Overall you will have a weak immune system. Research suggests that not getting enough of it may also be linked to heart diseases, diabetes, asthma, obesity and cognitive impairment in older adults. Here I am going to share the best vitamin D rich food sources that you can eat to maintain a good health.
Vitamin D Rich Food Sources- SUNLIGHT
Vitamin D is known as ‘sunshine vitamin’ because it is naturally made by your body when you expose your skin to the sun. But this is dependent upon season, length of day, time of day, cloud cover, smog, skin color, and use of sunscreen. And the other thing is that these days, many people spend countless hours indoors, and exposure to the sun is limited. In that case, one has to depend on vitamin D rich food sources.
Natural sources of vitamin D are limited, especially if you are a vegetarian or don’t like fish. Some foods that don’t naturally contain vitamin D are fortified with it but the level of vitamin D may vary. Check nutrition labels for exact amounts of vitamin D.
Commercial cereals are fortified with vitamin D. Variety of options and flavours are available in the market. Read labels carefully and purchase the products according to your taste and diet preference. But make sure that it should have at least 10% of the daily value of this essential nutrient. Ready to eat breakfast cereals usually provide 40 IUs of vitamin D. Pair it with soy milk or fortified orange juice for a breakfast full of essential vitamins and nutrients.
Milk has only a small amount of Vitamin D unless it’s fortified. One glass of milk will provide 20 % of your daily requirement of vitamin D or about 130 IUs. As vitamin D is found almost exclusively in animal products, so for vegetarians, plant-based milks such as soy milk, coconut milk and rice milk are also often fortified with it.
Some people don’t drink milk because of lactose intolerance and some don’t like its taste. So it’s ok if you are not a dairy lover, you can have orange juice in the morning. In addition to milk and cereal, orange juice is also commonly fortified.
One 8-ounce glass of fortified juice usually has around 100 IUs of vitamin D, but the amount varies from brand to brand. Not all brands are fortified, so check the label.
Generally people prefers to eat egg white and leave behind the yolk which is the most nutritious part of the egg. It’s important to use the whole egg, not just the whites as egg yolk is considered to be the rich source of Vitamin D. One yolk will give you about 41 IUs, but don’t try to get your daily vitamin D just from eggs.
If you are trying to stay healthy, 3 whole eggs per day are perfectly safe to eat. And those who are concerned with their cholesterol levels can have “3:1 ratio — three egg whites to one entire egg.”
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It is probably one of the few plant foods that provides vitamin D. Include a large handful of mushrooms to your meal, especially the ones that have been exposed to sunlight. Mushrooms grown in the dark don’t have vitamin D. In case of store bought mushrooms, just take them out of the packaging and place them in the sunshine for about 60 minutes. This will boost the levels of Vitamin D in it.
Who doesn’t love cheese? It is the yummy and nutritious way to add on some daily dose of vitamin D in your diet. Among all, ricotta cheese stands out as the highest natural cheese source of vitamin D. It contains 25 IUs of the nutrient which is five times as much as most other cheeses.
Although all varieties of fish are high on Vitamin D. But typically oily or fatty fish contain more Vitamin D than less oily fish. It includes various options like salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, and eel.
Not only vitamin D but they are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids as well. “Good fats” in oily fish also help in supporting memory and brain function.
COD LIVER OIL
It comes in less than savoury flavour. So those who don’t like its strong aroma, they can get it in capsule form. Cod liver oil is one of the best vitamin D rich food sources. One tbsp provides about 1,360 IUs of vitamin D, which is more than twice the recommended dietary allowance of 600 IUs per day. It is extremely rich in vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids also. Consuming this on regular basis can promote healthy and strong bones, prevent osteoporosis, and improve brain activity.
CAVIAR (Fish eggs)
Vitamin D can be found in high amounts of black and red caviar. Always try to have caviar of wild caught fish. Apart from vitamin D, it is a rich source of vitamin A which is good for eyesight, skin and reduces a risk of cancer.
Caviar assists in increasing hemoglobin content in the body, so it is often recommended by doctors to patients recovering from chemotherapy or surgery. Being small in size, you can put them on just about anything, or simply eat them directly on toast.
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