Get familiar with this list of foods highest in Vitamin D so you know what your best options are for supplementing your diet. Vitamin D is an important vitamin to stay topped up on, and getting enough sunshine gets you started, but you’ll still want to make sure you’re rounding that off with a balanced diet rich in Vitamin D foods.
All of the foods listed below are not just wonders when it comes to Vitamin D, they also provide you with other essential nutrients your body needs each day. These include omega-3s, protein, iron, fiber, calcium and more. That’s why it’s good to eat a broad number of foods so you are getting a variety of everything you need. Always remember to help your body produce its own Vitamin D by exposing bare skin to the sun on a regular basis, not long enough to get burned. The body is able to store Vitamin D, so this doesn’t need to be done daily, but should be done regularly.
1. Eel: 932 IU Vitamin D (233% DV)
Eel may not be a menu regular but it still one of the highest Vitamin D foods on the planet. Like most sea creatures it’s not just a good source of one vitamin, but a number of vitamins and minerals.
Eel contains both EPA and DHA forms of omega-3s, and therefore all of the benefits these provide, including being and to help with cholesterol levels, as well as anti-cancer benefits.
It’s also a good source of protein, and even though the image of a water snake might not conjure up the idea of deliciousness, it has a savory flavor when prepared correctly, and won’t have a rubbery texture to it, but will be soft and delectable.
Tips for eating more: Don’t fancy making your own eel at home? Go out for sushi and look for the unagi roll. That is sushi with a broiled eel on the top and a special sauce. It’s delicious and one of the few sushi pieces you’ll find that isn’t raw.
2. Salmon: 906 IU Vitamin D (227% DV)
Salmon provides nearly as much Vitamin D as eel, and is probably the one you’re more likely to eat on a regular basis. And you should, as salmon is often recommended as a fish you should be eating with regularity.
This is because salmon won’t just fill your Vitamin D reservoirs, it will give you a big boost in omega-3s, and is a very rich source of protein. That’s why it’s a favorite on many diet plans, because it provides protein for building lean muscle, or simply balancing out a meal, and because it can help tame inflammation by being anti-inflammatory food.
Salmon gets credited for being a good food to eat for heart health, and has even been linked to increased brain performance, both short term and for the long term, helping to reduce the risk of Alzheimers and other degenerative brain diseases.
Tips for eating more: Salmon is easy to prepare in a number of ways, baked in the over during the winter and placed on the grill during the summer. It can even be made into kebabs.
3. Sardines: 480 IU Vitamin D (120% DV)
Sardines are known for their strong taste and aroma, but should really be known for their Vitamin D content. You don’t need to eat a full 100 gram serving of sardines to benefit from the Vitamin D they have, since even half of this serving will provide you with more than half of your daily value of Vitamin D.
Sardines are an example of an oily fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and as such provides the many benefits associated with omega-3s.
Calcium, potassium, and iron round out the top 3 minerals that sardines provide in addition to the omega-3s and Vitamin D.
Tips for eating more: Sardines can be a tricky food to eat more of, since they have a strong flavor and small size. You can try adding them to a seafood chowder, or on a pizza. You can eat them as a snack as well, since they full of protein they’ll hold you over.
4. Snapper: 408 IU Vitamin D (102% DV)
Snapper is a fish that stands out among other as being a good source of Vitamin D, placing it in the top 5 of our countdown. A 100 gram serving of snapper gives you a full day’s supply of Vitamin D. As long as you are getting enough Vitamin A, it’s OK if you go over on your Vitamin D intake.
The selenium in snapper is one more reason to eat it. Selenium helps the body by getting the thyroid gland to a happy place. And since snapper is naturally low in calories and a rich source of protein, you’re helping yourself in a number of ways just with a serving of fish.
Snapper is just one example of fish that contains Vitamin D. You’ll do well with other types of fish, such as mackerel, flounder, and tilapia.
Tips for eating more: Snapper is a delicious fish that can be served up as your main entree and paired with a carb and a vegetable for a balanced meal.
5. Oysters: 320 IU Vitamin D (80% DV)
Joining several ocean-based food on our list, oysters are an impressive source of Vitamin D, and can be used as part of a healthy diet as long as they are fried or covered with unhealthy ingredients.
Because of the omega-3s in oysters, they’re a good choice for heart health, as they’ll help decrease the chance of having a stroke or heart attack, and get your blood pressure numbers to a safer place.
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