Considering Adding Vitamin D in Your Diet?

Chew on this:

Here are some tips not to be Vitamin D-ficient!:

The National Institutes of Health recommends that adults between 19 and 70 years old get at least 600 international units (IUs) of vitamin D per day.

  • Visit The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Nutrient Database for the vitamin D content of foods. Click on to and search for Vitamin D! This site will also provide information on vitamin D recommendations for children and teens.
  • Read Nutrition Labels – Beginning January 2020, the Nutrition Facts label will include Vitamin D content of foods!
  • Drink your Milk – Most commercially produced pasteurized milk in the U.S. is fortified and provides 120 IUs per 8-ounce cup. Fortified soy milk and rice milk run about the same but will vary between brands.
  • Eat your Yogurt – A 6-ounce serving of fortified yogurt contains 80 IUs, but the amount can be higher (or lower) depending on the manufacturer.
  • Eat more fatty Fish – salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, halibut, mackerel and trout. Salmon – fresh or canned – is a great source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids. According to the USDA Food Composition Database, one 3.5-ounce serving of salmon contains between 361 and 685 IU of vitamin D. Canned tuna is an easy way to boost vitamin D intake. A 4 oz. can of light tuna contains about 150 IUs of Vitamin D. Fresh tuna works too! Fresh Atlantic herring provides 167 IU per 3 oz. serving. If fresh fish isn’t your thing, pickled herring is also a great source of vitamin D, providing 113 IU of vitamin D per 3 ounce serving. Don’t forget about sardines which contain about 200 IU of vitamin D per 3 oz. serving. Halibut, mackerel, swordfish and trout are also good sources of vitamin D as well.
  • Consume some shellfish – Shrimp contains a respectable amount of vitamin D — 152 IU per serving, or 25% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI).
  • If you don’t eat fish, Cod Liver Oil is a popular supplement. It’s an excellent source of vitamin D — at about 450 IU per teaspoon or 75% of the RDI. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Enjoy an Egg for about 41 IU of vitamin D, or about 7% of the RDI for vitamin D. Keep in mind that the vitamin D in an egg comes from the yolk, so use the whole egg and not just the whites. Some eggs are fed vitamin D-enriched feed and thus, will be higher in vitamin D. Once again, read the label!
  • Mushrooms are the only natural plant source of vitamin D. Like humans, mushrooms can synthesize the vitamin when exposed to UV light. Some varieties can pack up to 2,000 IU per 3.5-ounce serving. On the other hand, commercially grown mushrooms are often grown in the dark and contain very little vitamin D. Certain brands are treated with UV light. These mushrooms can provide anywhere from 130–450 IU of vitamin D per 3.5 ounces. Once again, check the label to determine vitamin D content.
  • Fortified Orange Juice has about 100 IUs of vitamin D in an 8-ounce glass, but this varies between brands.
  • If you’re a vitamin D seeker looking for a crunch, there are many Fortified Cereals. Pair your cereal with a glass of fortified milk and fortified OJ!
  • Cheeses vary in vitamin D content – ricotta cheese has the most vitamin D of the natural cheeses, with 25 IU per cup. Most cheeses are extremely low in vitamin D since they are not fortified.
  • If you are a liver fan, Beef Liver contains 42 IUs of vitamin D in a 3 oz serving.
  • And if Sunshine is your thing, all you need is 5 to 15 minutes, 2 to 3 times a week, without sunscreen or too much clothing to boost your vitamin D levels. Get your sun in the morning or late afternoon while it is not too strong to help avoid skin damage.

Try these Gourmet Selections selected by our Dietitian!