Vitamin D is a vital dietary component that does everything from helping maintain skeletal health to fending off a host of cancers. By feeding your body a steady diet of vitamin D, you can enable it to fight off ailments and increase the likelihood that you feel healthy and vibrant. While you can take a vitamin D supplement, if you want to get your daily dose in a more natural fashion, up your intake of these vitamin D-rich foods.
1. Egg Yolks
If you’re excluding the yolks from your morning omelet, you’re missing out on some valuable vitamin D – and a bunch of flavor – but that’s another story entirely. While you don’t want to overdo it with the cholesterol-rich eggs, enjoying a soft-boiled or over easy egg as part of a balanced breakfast is a tasty way to start your day with vitamin D consumption. If you want some vitamin D but are too worried about your cholesterol to go all-in with your egg yolks, go half and half, making a two egg omelet with only one yolk.
No time to warm up the skillet in the morning? No problem. You can still get your vitamin D. Select a fortified cereal to make your breakfast a vitamin D-rich one. Most multi-grain cereals are rich in vitamin D, allowing you to fill up with long-lasting carbs while getting your fill of this valuable vitamin. To ensure that your cereal of choice is vitamin D-rich, spend some time reading the label. If you find that your favorite doesn’t contain much vitamin D, consider changing it up and selecting a more nutritious variety.
3. Fortified Milk
Add even more vitamin D to your morning bowl of cereal by topping it with some milk, or down a cool and delicious glass as you munch on a bagel. Nearly all milk sold in the United States is fortified with vitamin D, making this a shippable way to meet your daily intake goals. If you have issues with lactose, you aren’t out of luck. Many milk alternatives are also vitamin D-rich.
4. Orange Juice
Another morning beverage favorite, orange juice is also commonly a source of vitamin D. Just like milk, many orange juices are fortified. Check the label the next time your buy orange juice and pick up one that contains this vitamin. As an added benefit, this beverage will also give you a healthy dose of vitamin C as well, making your breakfast drink decision an extra smart one.
Salmon, as well as other fatty fishes like tuna, trout and mackerel, is a vitamin D-rich protein option. Just one six-ounce portion of salmon contains more than the recommended daily minimum of vitamin D making this fish a one-step way to get the vitamin D your body needs. While fresh is always best, if you need to save money on your salmon purchase, canned salmon – like its cousin, canned tuna – is also rich in vitamin D.
6. Beef Liver
If you’re an adventurous eater, try some beef liver. This less common butcher case selection is rich in vitamin D as well as vitamin A, iron and protein, making it a nutrition-packed choice. Also, because it’s less popular than more mainstream meat, you can often get it at a discount, making it a budget friendly choice as well. Go old-school and serve up some liver and onions for dinner to take your family on a culinary adventure.
7. Sunlight Grown Mushrooms
Not all mushrooms are vitamin D-rich. Mushrooms that are grown in the dark actually contain no vitamin D at all. If you love mushrooms and want to use them as a vehicle to get your vitamins in, read the packaging and look specifically for varieties that contain the vitamin. Many Portobello mushrooms are grown in the sun and, as a result, are loaded with this vitamin.
No, sunlight isn’t a food, but it is a source of vitamin D. Exposure to sunlight actually makes your body produce vitamin D – how ridiculously amazing is the human body, right! Just 25 minutes of sun exposure per day can ensure that your body produces enough vitamin D to meet your daily needs, so consider escaping the cavernous lunch room and taking your meal outside. If you live in the north, this is only a seasonal solution as the limited winter sunlight makes this option less than sustainable year-round.