Food sources rich in vitamin D

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Calcium is a mineral that is essential for bone formation. If the body cannot absorb enough calcium from food, this can have adverse effects on the bones and bone tissue. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis in adults or rickets in children. Vitamin D also has a positive effect on the central nervous system, immune system and weight. Vitamin D can be obtained from several food sources, but the most important source of vitamin D is the sun. Vitamin D is naturally produced by the body when exposed to sunlight. The sun’s ultraviolet rays react with cholesterol in the skin and produce previtamin D3. This compound goes through a series of reactions in which the kidneys and liver play an essential role, with the end product being vitamin D. In addition to the body’s production through sunlight. Our body can obtain vitamin D from certain types of food sources that contain sufficient Vitamin D. We can also obtain vitamin D from food sources that do not naturally contain Vitamin D, but are fortified with it.

Food sources enriched with vitamin D

In many countries, foods such as milk, yogurt, margarine, pasta, breakfast cereals, pastries and bread are fortified with vitamin D. This means that the vitamin D has been added artificially, as they are not usually foods that contain such a vitamin. In most cases, these foods are fortified with vitamin D2 and/or vitamin D3. Fortified milk usually contains 100 IU per cup (1 IU is the biological equivalent of 0.025 mg). This amount of vitamin D provides a quarter of the recommended daily amount for adults.

Fish types rich in vitamin D

Fish oil is one of the food sources that contain the highest amount of vitamin D. Fish types with the highest amount of vitamin D are:

  • The catfish is the fish species richest in vitamin D. 85 grams of this fish provides 425 IU, 112.5% of the recommended daily requirement for adults.
  • Roasted or cooked salmon contains 360 IU vitamin D per 100 grams. Just 100 grams of salmon provides 90% of the required amount of vitamin D per day. The disadvantage of salmon is that 100 grams contains about 230 calories.
  • Cooked mackerel has a high content of vitamin D. 100 grams of this type of fish contains 345 IU, almost 90% of the recommended daily requirement.
  • Canned sardines in oil are also rich in vitamin D. 50 grams of sardines contains 250 IU Vitamin D, which is 70% of the recommended daily requirement.
  • Canned tuna in oil; 85 grams of this type of fish contains 200 IU. 85 grams of canned tuna contains half of the recommended daily requirement of vitamin D.
  • Cooked eel; 100 grams of cooked eel contains 200 IU of vitamin D, half of the recommended daily requirement.

Other food sources rich in vitamin D

Vitamin D can also be found in other foods of animal origin that contain vitamin D to a lesser extent:

  • A whole egg contains 20 IU of vitamin D, which corresponds to 6% of the recommended daily requirement.
  • 100 grams of cooked beef liver contains 15 IU of vitamin D, 4% of the recommended daily requirement.
  • Mushrooms exposed to sunlight also contain vitamin D, but to a lesser extent.

Fish oils such as cod liver oil are also a food source high in vitamin D. 1 tablespoon provides 1,360 IU of vitamin D, good for 360% of the recommended daily requirement. Note that in some cases fish oil is sold from which vitamin D has been extracted. Therefore, always pay close attention when reading the ingredients.