Vitamin D is an important fat soluble vitamin that is rarely available. It is more than a vitamin by helping in the absorption of other vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, phosphate, zinc and magnesium from intestine. It acts as a pro-hormone sometimes and helps in maintaining hormone balance and regulates our immune system by enhancing cell multiplication. It has various sub classes as vitamin D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5, in which D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol) are most important in humans. These vitamins can be supplemented by diet or medication. But only few foods are rich in this vitamin. Deficiency of vitamin D may cause osteomalacia (softening of bones) in adults, rickets in children, weakening the immune mechanism, depression, auto immune diseases (asthma), skin diseases and cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of United States has given that the Daily value for vitamin D is 400 IU/day. In order to boost our vitamin D level and avoid many deficiencies, we should know about the sources rich in vitamin D and to increase these foods in our daily diet. Though vitamin D medications and injections are available, it is very important to improve your dietary sources to avoid unnecessary complications and side effects.
The High Rich Sources Of Vitamin D Are As Follows:
It is the natural primary source of vitamin D. When sunlight falls on the skin, cholesterol is converted into vitamin D and so it is called as sunshine vitamin. As the northern regions hardly get three months of summer and remaining months with no sunlight, these people over there encounter a variety of disorders due to lack of vitamin D. A person’s skin should normally be exposed to sunlight for at least 1- 2 hours daily in the morning or mid day sunlight. Nowadays due to the technological advancement, the humans hesitates to come out to be exposed to the sunlight and landing voluntarily into vitamin D deficiency.
2. Salmon (Fatty/ Oily fish)
It is an excellent source of vitamin D. The 100 grams of salmon daily gives about 522 IU, which is more than the Daily Value. It is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Both wild salmon as well as organically farmed salmon is rich in vitamin D. It can be taken as smoked, tinned, baked or grilled salmon.
3. Cod Liver Oil (Fish Liver Oil)
This is also a great source of vitamin D. 1 teaspoon (4.5 g) of cod liver oil gives you about 440- 450 IU which is more than the Daily Value . It is available as tablets too.
Every 100g of mackerel gives you about 457IU (more than Daily Value).
5. Tinned Fishes
Tinned fishes like sardines and tuna are also good sources of vitamin D. 100g of sardines can boost you with 193 IU of vitamin (41% Daily Value ) Every 100g of tuna gives you about 269 IU (57 % of Daily Value).
6. Fortified Food Products
Vitamin D fortified milk and milk products, cooking oil, soy milk, juice and cereals can give you high vitamin D content. Some countries provide fortified products to the people. In U.S., vitamin D fortified commercial milk is available. Four ounces of fortified milk can give you about 62 IU of vitamin D.
Daily intake of one boiled egg (especially egg yolks) gives you about 10% of the Daily Value.
Mushroom (shiitakes) gives you high vitamin D content. It is possible only if the mushroom is exposed to sunlight during cultivation. A large handful of mushrooms in your diet will add 5% to your Daily Value of vitamin D.
9. Pork And Beef Liver
Vitamin D is high in pork but you have to be careful with cholesterol. About 100 grams of beef liver can boost you with 49 IU of vitamin D.
10. Ricotta Cheese
Cheese gives you more vitamin D. Especially Ricotta cheese gives you 2% of vitamin D content. Thus vitamin D could be boosted up by having regular diet with above mentioned foods. In United States, the upper intake level of vitamin D in adult is 4,000 IU per day. Vitamin D overdose (vitamin D toxicity) is very rare but be cautious. You can identify this with signs and symptoms as increased appetite, lack of interest in foods, feeling nauseated, vomiting, increased urine output, feeling very weak, not getting sleep and feeling nervous. This overdose can be identified by increased calcium levels in blood causing renal failure.
Enjoy eating vitamin D rich foods!