Vitamin D deficiency has today become a common problem that most people are not even aware of. A common misconception that further complicates things when it comes to vitamin D is that most people believe that sunlight is the only way of getting sufficient levels of vitamin D. What people often do not realize is that eating foods that are rich in vitamin D is perhaps the easiest way of getting vitamin D, especially for those who live in areas where there is low to no sunlight available around the year. While foods having vitamin D are quite rare, they need to be sourced properly. Today we take a look at some healthy foods that are rich in vitamin D.
Are You Getting Sufficient Vitamin D?
It is estimated that nearly 50 percent of the global population does not get enough exposure to sunlight. Around 60 percent of people worldwide are estimated to be deficient in vitamin D. As per the Reference Daily Intake (RDI), you should be getting approximately 600 IU of vitamin D on a daily basis from foods. This number goes up to nearly 1000 IU per day if you are not getting sufficient sunlight.
You will be able to tell if you are deficient in vitamin D if you notice some of the following problems:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease and/or bleeding gums
- Auto-immune disorders
- Type 2 diabetes
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Digestive conditions
- Sleep apnea
- Grinding of teeth in sleep
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Neck and back pain
- Sore joints and muscle pain
- Brain fog
Vitamin D is needed to build strong bones and teeth. Our osteo-immune system also depends on vitamin D for controlling the hormonal signaling that takes place between our bones and the immune system.
These 5 Healthy Foods are Rich in Vitamin D
Low-fat diets have been shown to strip away the vitamin D from our diet. A deficiency of vitamin D causes many types of chronic diseases including autoimmune disorders, digestive disorders, and even mental conditions. To obtain vitamin D from your diet, there are certain foods that you should be consuming on a regular basis. Let’s take a look at these list of foods that are rich in vitamin D.
Salmon and Other Fatty Fish
Salmon is a healthy fatty fish that is rich in vitamin D. As per the data of the USDA Food Composition Database one 100 gram serving of salmon fish contains around 365 to 690 IU of vitamin D. However, this data does not specify whether this amount is specific to farmed salmon or wild salmon. Though this factor does not seem to be very important, it can still make a huge difference to the amount of vitamin D you are getting from salmon.
It is expected that on an average, wild salmon contains around 988 IU of vitamin D for every 100-gram serving. This equals around 165 percent of your RDI. Some studies even estimate that wild salmon may even contain up to 1300 IU of vitamin D per serving of 100 gram.
Compared to a wild salmon, farmed salmon only contains about 25 percent of this amount of vitamin D. Nevertheless, one serving of 100 gram farmed salmon includes around 250 IU of vitamin D. This is around 42 percent of the RDI.
Not just beef liver, but any organ meat is known to be rich in vitamin D. Beef liver contains not just vitamin D, but also other vitamins such as A, D, and K2. It also includes a good amount of B-vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients as well. This is why even though consuming organ meat may seem to be questionable or unpalatable to many people, it is an extremely nutritious source of food and will help you meet your daily required dose of vitamin D.
Sardines and Herring
Sardines are an excellent source of vitamin D and it is expected that one serving of around 100 grams contains nearly 45 percent or 272 IU of your RDI.
On the other hand, herring is a small fish which is one of the best sources of vitamin D that can be found. In fact, the Fresh Atlantic herring contains around 1628 IU of vitamin D in a 100-gram serving. This is almost three times the daily dose of vitamin D that you need.
Even if you don’t like fresh herring, you can also choose to consume pickled herring. This is also a good source of vitamin D, containing 680 IU in a 100-gram serving. Even this is over 100 percent of the RDI of vitamin D that you need. However, one must be careful from having too much of pickled herring because it contains high levels of sodium, which may be harmful to certain people.
Cod Liver Oil
People living in cold countries are often found to be consuming cod liver oil supplements. This is because cod liver oil is rich in vitamin D. If fish is not your thing, then you can try taking cod liver oil. It is available in both oil form as well as in the form of supplements. Cod liver oil also contains many other types of nutrients that are not typically found in other food sources. Cod liver oil is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids, another nutrient which most people are deficient in.
The cod liver oil contains around 450 IU per teaspoon. This is approximately 75 percent of your daily dose of vitamin D. Cod liver oil has been used for many years now to treat and prevent deficiency of vitamin D. It is even safe for children to consume.
Apart from vitamin D, cod liver oil is also rich in vitamin A and clocks in around 90 percent of the RDI in just a teaspoon of oil.
One needs to be cautious while consuming cod liver oil, though, as too much of vitamin A can be toxic for the body.
Another seafood that is rich in vitamin D is oysters. Oysters are typically found in saltwater and are a type of clam. They are low in calories while being rich in many types of nutrients.
In fact, a 100-gram serving of oysters contains 320 IU of vitamin D, but only 68 calories, making it a very healthy food for consumption. Apart from vitamin D, one serving of oysters also contains nearly two to five times the RDI for copper, zinc, and vitamin B12. This is much more than the amount that is found in many multivitamins.
While spending time under the sunlight is still one of the best and most natural ways of getting your daily dose of vitamin D, it does become difficult for some people to get their daily dose of vitamin D from the sun. This is why it is important that you consume foods that are rich in vitamin D so that you get sufficient levels of vitamin D one way or the other.
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