Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in bone health. It also has many other benefits.
Vitamin D is important for many functions in your body, including absorbing calcium and phosphorus, regulating blood pressure and maintaining blood sugar levels. It also helps strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis.
It’s hard to get enough vitamin D through diet alone, so it’s important to get the recommended 600 IU per day from a supplement or fortified foods, such as milk and cereal. Here are some foods that are good sources of vitamin D—and how to add them into your diet.
- Eat more fish. Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, but it’s also a good source of vitamin D. Salmon, tuna and mackerel are high in this nutrient. Other types of fish such as cod, flounder and sole also contain small amounts of it.
- Salmon: Salmon is one of the best sources of vitamin D because it contains more than just a little bit. A 3-ounce serving provides about 200 international units (IU) of vitamin D, which is about half what you need in a day. You can find canned salmon at most grocery stores or online.
- Cod liver oil: This oil is rich in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids, but it also contains more than 1,000 IU per tablespoon. However, cod liver oil can be difficult for some people to tolerate due to its strong taste and odor.
- Tuna: Tuna contains about 95 IU per 3-ounce serving; however, canned tuna often has sodium added during processing so it’s not necessarily a healthy choice. You can buy canned tuna packed in water instead of oil for fewer calories and fewer additives.
- Enjoy fortified milk products such as yogurt and cheese or orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D. It’s best to choose low-fat varieties whenever possible so you don’t consume too much-saturated fat from these products.