Vitamin D deficiency: 8 great foods to raise levels

One of the nutritional deficiencies that most Americans present today is vitamin D, there is information in which it has been verified that more than 40% of the population in the United States has vitamin D deficiency. It is a worrying issue since in recent months it has been related to an increase in chronic diseases, among the those of cardiovascular origin stand out. Vitamin D is a critical fat-soluble vitamin that the body needs to maintain serum calcium, which supports cellular processes, neuromuscular function, and bone tissue formation. This vitamin also plays an important role in the immune response and therefore it is essential in the prevention of osteoporosis, cancer, depression, diabetes and obesity. The good news is that there are wonderful dietary allies that are of great help to obtain adequate levels of vitamin D, of course apart from sunlight which is the main source.

Based on the above, we took on the task of selecting the 8 foods with the highest contribution in vitamin D. Best of all, they are found in foods of animal origin such as fatty fish, egg yolks, liver and fish oils. And also in products of plant origin. Know the foods that contain the most vitamin D, the best of all is that it is quite easy to integrate them into the daily diet.

1. Wild salmon and other fatty fish

Salmon is one of the most popular fatty fish, it is associated with great health benefits. Many of its virtues are related to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids, anti-inflammatory properties and its extraordinary content of vitamin D. According to the food composition database of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA ), a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of Atlantic salmon contains 526 IU of vitamin D, or the equivalent of 66% of the recommended daily value. In addition, it is known that betting on wild salmon variants makes a considerable difference, it contains 988 IU of vitamin D per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, or 124% of what is recommended – wonderful! It is also a great source of proteins of high biological value, it is low in calories and extremely versatile.

Wild salmon./Photo: Shutterstock

2. Canned tuna

Another seafood product that you cannot miss is canned tuna, which is also a basic pantry that is versatile and easy to find. It is also usually cheaper than buying fresh fish. Canned tuna in water contains up to 268 IU of vitamin D in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, which is 34% of the recommended daily value. It also provides other health benefits as it is a good source of niacin and vitamin K. It is important not to consume it in excess as it may contain methylmercury, a toxin found in many types of fish. If it builds up in your body, it can cause serious health problems, so eating up to 6 ounces (170 grams) per week is considered safe.

Canned tuna. / Photo: Shutterstock

3. Mushrooms

A great alternative for vegetarians are the mushrooms that They are considered the only good plant source of vitamin D. It is striking to say that, like humans, fungi can synthesize this vitamin when exposed to ultraviolet light. But nevertheless, mushrooms produce vitamin D2, while animals produce vitamin D3. It is important to note that although vitamin D2 helps raise blood levels of vitamin D, it may not be as effective as vitamin D3. Nevertheless, lWild mushrooms are excellent sources of vitamin D2 and in fact, there are some varieties that contain up to 2,300 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, almost three times the recommended daily value. So eat more mushrooms.

Mushrooms. / Photo: Azlin Bloor / Pixabay

4. Egg yolk

Let’s be honest, not all people are lovers of fish and shellfish, fortunately there are other vitamin D alternatives and egg yolks are the clearest example. Whole eggs are another good source, as well as a wonderfully nutritious food. It is true that most of an egg’s protein is found in the whites, however fat, vitamins and minerals are mainly found in the yolk. An average size egg yolk contains 37 IU of vitamin D, or 5% of the recommended amount. As a fun fact: the levels of vitamin D in egg yolk depend on sun exposure and the vitamin D content of chicken feed. In fact pasture-raised chickens that roam outdoors in sunlight they produce eggs with levels 3 to 4 times higher. In addition, the eggs of chickens that receive feed enriched with vitamin D can have up to 6,000 IU of vitamin D per yolk, which is 7 times more than what they usually contain.

Benefits of eggs for brain health
Yolk. / Photo: Unsplash

5. Rainbow trout

Another of the most recommended fish to increase the daily intake of vitamin D, is the wonderful aroíris trout. The best part? In just 3 ounces of cooked trout you will get 100% of your daily vitamin D requirements, therefore it is an exceptional addition to the diet of adults with depressed immune systems and these types of nutritional deficiencies. It is also a wonderful source of protein of high biological value, which provides many vitamins and minerals. All rainbow trout in the United States are raised on farms, which helps them keep lower mercury content than other popular fish Another great advantage!

Rainbow trout
Rainbow trout. / Photo: Unsplash

6. Cod liver oil

Cod liver oil is one of the main sources of vitamin D and is also a rich source of vitamin A and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. A great recommendation for people who find its taste very aggressive is to consume it in capsule form. In fact, according to experts, it is one of the best sources to increase the consumption of vitamin D on a daily basis., especially in cases where it is not easy to find through the daily food supply. The good news is that through small adjustments it is possible to achieve it, add mushrooms to your salads and eggs, choose salmon or sardines as a source of protein. Also, don’t forget to enjoy a few more minutes in the sun to make sure you get the vitamin D you need.

Cod liver oil. / Photo: Pxhere

7. Herring and sardines

Herring is a fish that is eaten all over the world. It can be served raw, canned, smoked or pickled and is simply one of the best sources of vitamin D. Fresh Atlantic herring provides 216 IU of vitamin D per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, which is 27% of the recommended daily intake. The biggest problem is that many people find it very intense in flavor in its fresh version, so it is recommended to bet on pickled herring. The only recommendation is to take care of the excess sodium that these types of products may have. Canned sardines are also a good source of vitamin D: one can (3.8 ounces) contains 177 IU, or 22% of the recommended. There are also other variants of fatty fish that are a great source of vitamin D, such as halibut and mackerel.

Canned sardines. / Photo: Monicore / Pixabay

8. Swiss cheese

Believe it or not the delicious Swiss cheese, is a great way to absorb vitamin D, along with calcium and vitamin K; which work together to keep bones strong and healthy. Therefore, it is a great complement to integrate into recipes with other foods rich in vitamin D, the best of all is that Swiss cheese is easy to crush and ideal to sprinkle on all kinds of dishes. For best results, bet on the organic versions and do not exceed quantities, since it is a cheese with a high fat content.

Swiss cheese
Swiss cheese. / Photo: Pxhere

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