Vitamin D is essential to the human body. It helps the body to absorb minerals, such as calcium, from our diet in order to maintain healthy bones and muscles. Our bodies create vitamin D when exposed to direct sunlight.
In the UK, most people should be able to obtain enough vitamin D from sunlight between late March and the end of September. However, studies show that almost 50% of the world’s population may not receive enough sunlight to produce a sufficient amount of vitamin D. Therefore, consuming a diet containing foods that are rich in vitamin D will reduce the risk of deficiency.
Examples of foods rich in vitamin D
Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin D. Just 100 grams of this fatty fish contains around 17mcg of the vitamin – that’s almost double your recommended daily intake (RDI).
However, this is dependent on the type of salmon you consume. Farmed salmon contains far less vitamin D that wild-caught salmon, with just 25% of the content. Therefore, wild salmon is one of many foods that you should think about including in your diet.
Eggs are wonderfully nutritious and one of many foods that are rich in vitamin D. Consuming eggs is a good idea for those who don’t eat seafood or meat, as vitamin D is mainly found in animal products. The majority of vitamins and minerals are found in the egg yolk, whereas protein is found in the egg white, so it is important to consume the whole egg.
Similarly to salmon, different types of eggs contain different levels of vitamin D. For instance, free-range hens produce eggs with three times more vitamin D than caged hens. Consuming free-range eggs can be a good way to meet your RDI.
Mushrooms are the only plant-based foods that are rich in vitamin D, as they synthesise the vitamin when exposed to UV light.
Wild mushrooms are the best source of vitamin D as commercial mushrooms are often grown in the dark, therefore they contain a small amount of the vitamin. Make sure to consume wild mushrooms or those treated with UV light if you wish to include more sources of vitamin D in your diet.
Do I need to consume foods that are rich in vitamin D?
Spending time in the sun is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. However, sufficient sun exposure can be difficult to achieve during the autumn and winter months. Having a vitamin D-rich diet will help ensure that you get enough.
For more information on finding the appropriate vitamin D supplements, contact us today.