Top 9 Foods Highest in Vitamin D

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

People eat vitamin D foods all the time without realizing it, but if you are deficient in this vitamin, it is very important to tailor your diet to include more of certain food groups.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a pro-hormone which can be naturally synthesized by the body. Sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D for most people; most experts agree that a total of 30-60 minutes of sunshine per week should be sufficient to keep your vitamin D levels high, but in certain parts of the world, and in some seasons, it can be difficult to get the requisite sunshine.

Vitamin D has many benefits that include:

Clearly, the presence of this vitamin is essential for your health, so knowing which foods can boost your intake is critical.

Foods High in Vitamin D

The best vitamin D foods include herring, salmon, oysters, cod liver oil, shrimp, raw milk, and canned tuna among others. Depending on your age, you should be consuming between 5 and 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day.

Herring

In a 100-gram serving of herring, there is more than four times the amount of vitamin D than you need each day. Roughly 40 micrograms of this nutrient are available in a single dinner of this delectable fish!

A tray of butter, eggs, mushrooms, cheese slice, peas, and fish

Vitamin D improves bone, muscle, and immune system health. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Salmon

A 3-ounce serving of this delicious fish provides about 10 micrograms of vitamin D, which is precisely how much experts recommend you consume each day.

Oysters

Not only are oysters excellent sources of vitamin D, with roughly 8 micrograms in a 100-gram serving, but they are also storehouses of other essential minerals, such as zinc and selenium.

Cod Liver Oil

A single teaspoon of cod liver oil contains more than 10 micrograms of vitamin D, which is more than 100% of your daily needs.

Raw Milk

A single cup of milk delivers approximately 25% of the vitamin D that you will need each day, and there may even be more if the milk has been fortified. This is in addition to healthy fats and other minerals provided by this beverage.

Egg Yolk

Each egg yolk you consume brings you 10% closer to your daily needs for vitamin D. However, due to the high level of cholesterol in eggs, be sure not to over consume these vitamin D-rich foods.

Shrimp

In a 100-gram serving of shrimp, you will enjoy more than 1/3 of the daily requirement for vitamin D.

Sardines

In a 3-ounce serving of sardines, you can get more than 4 micrograms of vitamin D, approximately 40% of your daily needs.

Canned Tuna

With just under 6 micrograms of vitamin D in a 3-ounce serving of canned tuna, this is an excellent food source for this critical nutrient.

While fish is a good option to get the vitamin, vegetarian sources include foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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