Do you think you are deficient in vitamin
D? If yes, then you should totally get checked by a doctor. In other terms, if
you would like to take care of the vitamin D levels in your body through
natural means, without taking any supplements, then you can try intaking
vitamin D rich food options. Incorporating these foods in your diet will
definitely help to maintain proper amounts of vitamin D while keeping away the
Before getting to the list of vitamin D rich foods, let us first understand as to what is vitamin D and why is it necessary for the proper functioning of the body! Let's get started, shall we?
What is Vitamin D?
Unlike the other vitamins, vitamin D is actually a prohormone. This means that vitamin D helps to produce a particular hormone. It helps the body to absorb calcium. Vitamins are mostly the substances that the body needs to grow and develop without any abnormalities. This is precisely the reason why a deficiency in any of the vitamins causes deficiency diseases with specific symptoms.
There are mainly three ways in which the body can get vitamin D. They are as follows:
Vitamin D is also known as cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol. It is also known as the sunshine vitamin because our body can synthesise vitamin D naturally after exposure to sunlight. But this should not be confused with too much exposure as that can cause skin ageing and even skin cancer.
Vitamin D performs many critical functional roles in the body. They are as follows:
Since it performs so many crucial roles in the body, the deficiency of vitamin D can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cause severe asthma in children. It is also responsible for the development of some types of cancers and even cognitive impairment in older people.
Now that you know a little bit about what Vitamin D is and what its deficiency can cause let us take a look at seven most vitamin D rich food options available out there!
1. Mushrooms: Like humans, mushrooms are also able to synthesise vitamin D when they are exposed to sunlight. Isn't that amazing? This is the reason why mushrooms are the only good plant source of vitamin D. There is a difference in the type of vitamin D that is produced by mushrooms and by humans. The former produce vitamin D2 while the latter produce vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is not as effective as vitamin D3, which is why you need to incorporate other food items to complete your body's vitamin D requirements.
2. Fortified Foods: In case you are a vegetarian, you will be at a loss since all the vitamin D sources include seafood. But there are some food products which have been fortified with vitamin D as they do not contain any, naturally. In some countries, cow’s milk, soy milk, orange juice, cereals and even oatmeal has been fortified with vitamin D. All you need to do is to read the nutrient chart on the packaging of the product while buying it in the supermarket.
3. Fish: Some of the most important sources of vitamin D include seafood. You can derive your daily source of vitamin D from fish like sardines, herring and salmon. Salmon is a very popular fatty fish, and a wild-caught salmon contains a high amount of a Vitamin D. Apart from herring and salmon, other types of fatty fish including halibut and mackerel are also very rich in vitamin D. It is advised not to consume a lot of these in canned forms since they contain a lot of sodium which could be otherwise harmful.
4. Cod Liver Oil: If you do not like seafood, then intaking cod-liver oil can be an alternative. It contains a number of nutrients which are unavailable in other sources. Cod-liver oil is an excellent source of vitamin D, and it prevents deficiency disorders in children. It is also very rich in vitamin A, which is why you must not consume it in a large amount. Additionally, cod-liver oil is also very high in omega-3 fatty acids which provide it with another reason why you could consider taking it!
5. Eggs: Even though the egg yolk has a lousy reputation of raising the bad cholesterol in the body, it can be enjoyed in moderation. We say so because the egg yolk contains the right amount of vitamin D and other minerals such as zinc and selenium.
6. Fortified Yogurt: If you are able to find vitamin D fortified yoghurt at your local supermarket, then don't think twice before replacing it with the regular yoghurt in your kitchen. Yoghurt is a convenient and delicious snack which is almost perfect for breakfast and small meals.
7. Chocolate Milk: If you are looking for an exciting option to replace your milk with, then choose low-fat chocolate milk. It is because milk is rich in protein and phosphorus, and it is often fortified with vitamin D along with other essential nutrients.
This list contains very reliable data of all the food options which are rich in vitamin D. choosing food options instead of supplements saves a lot of money and ensures the intake of other essential nutrients as well. So what are you waiting for? Head out to your supermarket, and buy these things already!