When compared to other nutrients, vitamin D is the only one that your body will produce when exposed to sunlight. Although it has been discovered that up to half of the world’s population may not get enough sunlight, with a large number being deficient in vitamin D. This can be due to people spending more time indoors, wearing sunblock outside and eating a low-vitamin D diet, which is typical of the Western diet. The recommended intake of vitamin D is 10-20 mcg per day from foods. However, if you are not able to get enough sunlight, this intake may need to be increased to around 25 mcg per day.
Vitamin D is needed to assist the body in absorbing calcium, which plays a crucial role in the maintenance of bone strength. Getting enough of both calcium and vitamin D is essential for maintaining bone, muscle and dental health, while also protecting against certain disorders, such as osteoporosis, which is a condition that is characterised by weak and brittle bones.
If someone has low vitamin D levels due to a lack of sunlight, they are able to replenish these levels with foods that are high in the nutrient, and here are the top 5…
Salmon is a popular fatty fish that is a great source of vitamin D. However, there can be a big difference between wild and farmed salmon. It has been found that wild-caught salmons have higher levels of vitamin D, compared to farmed salmon- which has been found to contain only up to 25% of the vitamin D levels found in wild salmon.
Herring and Sardines
Herring is eaten all over the globe and can be served raw, canned, smoked and pickled. And although it is a small fish it is one of the best sources of vitamin D. However, pickled herring also contains high levels of sodium, which is not healthy to consume too much of. Other fatty fish are also good vitamin D sources, including halibut and mackerel.
Cod Liver Oil
A popular wellbeing supplement, and perfect if you do not like fish. By taking cod liver oil, it can be a way to get the nutrients unavailable in other sources. And of course, it is an excellent source of vitamin D and has been used for years to treat deficiency of the vitamin in children, as well as used as a preventative measure. It is also a great source of vitamin A, however, can be toxic in high amounts and therefore caution should be taken with cod liver oil, to ensure the right dose is being taken. It is also high in omega-3, which is another nutrient that many people are deficient in.
Seafood is not the only source of vitamin D, you can also get it from whole eggs. Most of the protein in an egg can be found in the white, whereas the fat, vitamins and minerals can be mostly found in the yolk. The vitamin D in egg yolk depends on sun exposure and the amount of vitamin D that is in the chicken feed.
Cow’s Milk and/or Soya Milk
Cow’s milk is the most commonly consumed type of milk and is a natural source of many nutrients including calcium, riboflavin, and phosphorous. Soya milk is another type of milk that is often fortified with different nutrients and other vitamins and minerals, that can be found naturally in cow’s milk.