5 Nutritious Foods That Are Rich in Vitamin D
Include eggs, milk, mushrooms, orange juice, and salmon in your diet to boost your vitamin D levels.
People are now slowly showing interest in the importance of vitamin D and its role in the overall health of the human body.
Vitamin D affects many bodily functions, including bone health. Research shows that low vitamin D levels can increase the risk of autoimmune diseases.
Many people don’t have the required levels of vitamin D. It’s difficult to know how many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency and experts are still debating about the required levels.
According to US NIH, about 24 percent of people in the United States and 40 percent in Europe are vitamin D deficient, and the percentage is higher in other countries.
Here is a list of foods that can help you maintain the vitamin D levels in your body.
Our bodies produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. But gaining enough of vitamin D this way is difficult depending on where you live and how much exposure to sunlight you receive around the year.
Salmon is a popular fatty fish that is a rich source of vitamin D.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of salmon contains 526 IU of vitamin D or 66 percent of the daily required value.
The vitamin D content in salmon can differ depending on the type of salmon and if the salmon is wild or farmed.
Wild-caught salmon have more vitamin D. Moreover, the amount of vitamin D in salmon will vary depending on where the salmon is caught and at what time of the year.
Whole eggs are also a good source of vitamin D and are very nutritious.
The highest amount of protein in an egg is found in the white part, while the fat, vitamins, and minerals are found in the yolk.
According to US NIH, the yolk from one large egg contains 37 IU of vitamin D or 5 percent of the daily required value.
However, several factors affect the vitamin D levels of egg yolks. A few of these include amount of sun exposure for the chicken, vitamin D content of the chicken feed, and exposure of liquid yolk to UV light.
Choosing the right eggs either from chickens raised outside or sold on the market, can make a difference in meeting your daily vitamin D requirements.
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Mushrooms are a vegetarian source of vitamin D.
Like humans, mushrooms can also synthesize vitamin D when exposed to UV light. However, mushrooms produce vitamin D2 while animals produce vitamin D3.
Vitamin D2 helps raise blood levels of vitamin D but it is not as effective as vitamin D3.
Wild mushrooms are excellent sources of vitamin D2 due to their exposure to UV light. Morels, a type of mushroom that grow in the wild, are one such example. One cup of morels contains 136 IU of vitamin D, which is 17 percent of the daily required value.
Commercially grown mushrooms in the dark contain very little D2. Some of these mushrooms are treated with ultraviolet (UV) light to boost their vitamin D content.
4. Fortified Foods
According to PubMed, cow’s milk is a naturally good source of various nutrients, including calcium, phosphorous, and riboflavin.
Various countries have cow’s milk fortified with vitamin D. One cup of fortified cow’s milk contains about 115 IU of vitamin D per cup (237 mL) or about 15 percent of the daily required value. Since vitamin D is found mostly in animal products, vegetarians and vegans may find it difficult to maintain the required vitamin D levels.
Therefore, plant-based milk substitutes like soy milk are fortified with vitamin D and other nutrients that are found in cow’s milk.
5. Orange Juice
Around 65 percent of people worldwide are lactose intolerant, and around 2 percent experience milk allergy, as per US NIH.
Therefore, companies have to fortify orange juice with vitamin D and calcium. One cup (237 mL) of fortified orange juice has up to 100 IU of vitamin D or 12 percent of the daily required value.
However, orange juice isn’t a great option for people prone to acid reflux as it can worsen the symptoms.
If you suffer from diabetes, orange juice may cause a spike in your blood sugar level as well.
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