Vitamin D also known as the sunshine vitamin is a fat-soluble mineral produced when the body is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption to keep the bones and teeth stronger, regulates cell growth, supports immune functions and reduces inflammation. There are two forms of vitamin D- vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol and vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol. Vitamin D3 is the active form of vitamin D. It can be used for the conditions where people who have underactive parathyroid glands, low levels of phosphate in the blood, or hereditary conditions in which the body doesn’t respond to the parathyroid hormone.
Vitamin D also encourages the kidneys to recycle phosphate back into the blood, which helps the blood stay at the right pH. It can also be taken as a supplement to improve overall health or used to treat osteoporosis. It is an important nutrient which women and pregnant ladies must have in sufficient amounts. Including these foods in regular diet will help pregnant women to maintain their vitamin D content in the body. Unlike D2, vitamin D3 is the more common type which is easily absorbed by the body from sunlight. Though it is not commonly found in many food items, there are few, such as sea foods, fortified milk products, egg yolks, shitake mushrooms, and some breakfast cereals, which can provide us with sufficient amount of D3.
11 Must Know Healthy Vitamin D3 Foods for Women
Salmon has a high fat content fish, which is the main reason for it containing high amount of vitamin D. Around 3.5 ounces of salmon could provide 80% of the required amount of vitamin D. The Alaskan salmon is a better choice compared to the Atlantic salmon as it contains 5 times more vitamin D.
Mackerels are another fish variety with good amount of vitamin D. They have high omega-3 fatty acids, which provide with 90% of the recommended dietary intake of vitamin D.
Herring fishes contain good content of vitamin D as they feed on plankton which is full of Vitamin D. They are an excellent source of vitamin B12, protein, selenium, phosphorous, calcium and iron
Therefore, consuming these fish can provide the body with the essential minerals and vitamins which cannot be produced by the body on its own.
The only plant source containing vitamin D, are mushrooms. Since they grow by absorbing the sunlight they are considered as good vitamin D source. Mushrooms are also rich in B-complex vitamins such as B1, B2, B5 and minerals like copper.
Depending on the type and variety of the mushrooms, the amount of vitamin D varies. Shitake mushroom type is known to be the best source of D. To boost the vitamin D content of the mushrooms, try exposing them to sunlight before using them. If you slit it into half and before putting them out, it helps absorb more UV rays which eventually will translate more vitamin D into your food.
Cod liver oil is the oil extracted from the livers of Atlantic cod. It is a rich source of vitamin D, vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids is cod liver oil. For the people who do not like the strong aroma of the oil can take the capsule form of it. Consuming it regularly is said to relieve joint stiffness associated with arthritis, improve brain activity, and promote healthy bones and teeth.
Ricotta, swizz, and goat cheese stand out as the highest natural cheeses source of vitamin D compared to the other cheeses that are extremely low in vitamin D. A half a cup of ricotta cheese serving contributes 12 IU of vitamin D. One slice of swizz cheese provides 6 IU of vitamin D. and one ounce of the goat cheese provides 6 IU of vitamin D.
Eggs contain 10% of the recommended amount of vitamin D. The yolk of the egg provides nutrients like vitamin A, K, E, iron and zinc. Besides these, eggs also contain sulfur, essential amino acids and choline.
Consuming one egg daily can provide you with the required nutrients and minerals. And as the egg yolk is a good supplement for vitamin D, make sure to include it in your diet on a regular basis.
For the people who consume fish can also opt for fish eggs which also play an important part in a healthy and balanced diet. One serving of caviar egg provides 19 UI of vitamin D. Caviar is full of immune boosting nutrients like vitamins, minerals and essential fats.
Oysters are another sea food known for their rich nutritional properties. Wild-caught oysters contain 320 IU of vitamin D per 100 grams – 67% of our daily requirement. The vitamins and minerals of this food can keep you healthy and young.
Oysters are also a good source of vitamin B12, zinc, iron, manganese, selenium, and copper. People suffering from cardiovascular ailments should consume oysters in limited amount as they are high in cholesterol.
Cereals are also fortified with minerals and essential nutrients like vitamin D. Since cereals are a part of our daily breakfast, we already tend to consume enough nutrients through them. All bran cereals provide 131 IU of vitamin D, while fruit-flavored cereals provide 11 IU of vitamin D.
But now that we are aware that cereals can also provide us with vitamin D, check the nutritional value on the label of the cereal pack that you buy, to get an idea about the percentage of vitamin D in it.
Soy products like tofu, tempeh and soymilk are rich in calcium and vitamin D. A 100-gram serving of fortified tofu can provide 39% of the daily value of vitamin D. One cup of soymilk provides around 102 IU of vitamin D, equaling to 12/5 of the daily value. It also provides 6% of the daily value of calcium. Calcium and vitamin D as we are aware help strengthen the bones and teeth.
Dairy products like milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt are fortified with vitamin D to increase the calcium absorption. As we are aware dairy products keeps us healthy and young. A cup of fortified yogurt provides 20% of the daily value of vitamin D.
Milk is also fortified with vitamin D, but make sure to choose whole fat milk, as skimmed milk removes vitamin D as it is a fat-soluble vitamin.
Canned tuna is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, high quality protein, selenium and vitamin D. Three ounces of tuna can provide 50% of the body’s required amount of vitamin D. Wild-caught tuna is the most nutritious and provides better memory and supports better brain function.
Apart from all the above given food items butter, orange juice, sour cream, salami, shrimps, beef liver, pork tenderloin, oats, swordfish, margarine, carp fish, flounder fish, sardines, cat fish, etc, are the supplements that provide us with natural vitamin D. Now that you are aware of the foods that are the best vitamin D providers, make sure to include them in your regular diet.