8 Healthy Foods That Are High in Vitamin D

Vitamin D is soluble in the body’s fat reserves and helps absorb valuable dietary calcium to contribute to bone capital. In addition, it seems to be beneficial in cases of arthritis, dermatological problems such as psoriasis, digestive diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases. It is also involved in the prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, among others.

Vitamin D deficiency causes muscle and bone pain and increases the risk of rickets (delayed motor development and growth) in children and osteoporosis (and its premature version, osteopenia) and fractures in the elderly. It is called the “sun” vitamin, since it is captured and synthesized with an exposure of about fifteen minutes a day to UVB rays. Foods that contain it are rather rare, but let’s not admit defeat! Here’s a list of vitamin treasures to incorporate into your daily routine:


1. Fresh or smoked salmon

This fisherman’s catch is full of good fats and flavours. It also prepares well grilled on the barbecue, in foil in the oven or to please in pasta dishes. Why not eat the leftovers the next day in a sandwich or to complete a salad-meal, to make a change and enjoy its versatility at any time of the week? Made with a salty sweet sauce and drizzled with citrus fruits and then seasoned with ground pepper, it’s sublime!

Nutritional value

Rich in vitamin D (more than 12 micrograms or almost 500 international units (IU) per 3-ounce serving or 90 grams raw), salmon is also high in protein (above 22 grams per 3-ounce serving or 90 grams cooked) and low in bad saturated fat (just 2 grams per serving). In smoked version, it contains less vitamin D.


2. Bluefin tuna and canned tuna

Other than canned tuna can be eaten raw in tartares and sushi plates. It has a very appreciable texture and a unique taste, which makes it a specialty for fine palates. The steak or fillet of this fish are exquisite when marinated in sesame vinaigrette, flavoured with ginger and garnished with sesame seeds. Often sold at high prices, keep an eye out for grocery offers and specials in restaurants.

Nutritional value

Also from the sea, this raw fish still offers 2 micrograms (g) or 80 international units (IU) of vitamin D (for a serving of 4 ounces or 120 grams). It is packed with protein (almost 30 grams per designated serving) and is almost free of bad saturated fats. By opting for canning, you will almost triple the dose of vitamin D, interesting!


3. Cow’s milk

As the dairy industry is an undeniable resource in this country, we are fortunate to be able to get our pint of milk on every street corner. This very nourishing liquid is popular with children and adults alike. It is convenient in breakfast cereals, as a smoothie at the snack or fresh as an accompaniment to dinner. It is also sold in a flavoured version (i.e. chocolate, strawberries and even blueberries) for a creamy, sweeter drink.

Nutritional value

A glass of milk certainly contributes to vitamin D intake with nearly 3 micrograms (g) or 120 international units (IU) (cup or 250 milliliters). That’s not all: it promises no less than 8 grams of protein and more than 300 milligrams of calcium for this amount. In addition, whether it is 2%, skimmed or even chocolatey, its vitamin D content is the same!


4. Soy beverage

A lactose-free, soy bean-derived alternative, soy “milk” has been gaining a lot of followers for the past few years. It can replace cow’s milk when it is preferred to taste or composition. This beverage is all the rage in the morning oatmeal, with iced coffee or even as a snack with dry biscuits. The variety of soy-based beverages is impressive and the examples of flavours are numerous: cappuccino, vanilla, chai, etc.

Nutritional value

This drink is fortified with vitamin D and it’s all the better… There are more than 2 micrograms or 80 international units (IU) in a cup (equivalent to 250 milliliters). We regale his taste buds by filling up with calcium and vegetable protein (almost 300 milligrams of calcium and 6 grams of protein in a standard serving)!


5. Other fortified drinks: almonds, rice…

In the vogue for healthy beverages that compete with dairy products, beverages such as almond, rice, hemp and oat milk are also found and the list grows. The only recipes that are currently being enriched are the first two. In addition to these options, goat’s milk can become another nutritious avenue. These preparations can change cow’s milk and soy, for a bit of novelty and variety!

Nutritional value

Rice and almond drinks are generally fortified with vitamin D, at a rate of just under 2 micrograms or 80 international units (IU) per cup (250 milliliters). Calcium was added to meet 45% of daily needs for added value. However, apart from goat’s milk, the protein content remains minimal.


6. Egg yolks

The so-called petty part of the egg, its yellow centre, has been retaliated against by health authorities in the past. The new recommendations allow the consumption of one coconut per day, the equivalent of 7 whole eggs per week. They are perfect as toppings for sandwiches, quite exquisite in omelette or scrambled, convenient to the shell as a snack. They can even be used raw to lather the milkshakes (make sure they are very fresh).

Nutritional value

Each egg yolk naturally contains 1 microgram (g) or 40 international units of vitamin D, making it an ally of choice: with just 70 calories per whole egg, more than 6 grams of protein, extra vitamins (A and B12) and antioxidants such as lutein to protect the eyes, for example, are removed.


7. Most Margarine

We know that our grandmothers advised us cod liver oil to solidify the bone structure of the body. However, this oil is nowadays difficult to find, or so only offered in tablets. His “alter ego”, the enriched margarine becomes perfectly relevant. Look for kinds that are obviously non-hydrogenated and offer a good dose of vitamin D. Then spread, grill your food with this vitamin fat!

Nutritional value

A small amount of fortified margarine (either a teaspoon or 5 milliliters) offers up to 2 micrograms or 80 international units (IU) of vitamin D, which is wonderful! These fats are good for the heart, in addition to being very low in sodium. That’s not all: we’d be crazy to do without their vitamins A, E and K.


8. A minority of yogurts

It may be surprising to learn that vitamin D is only added to milk… That said, cheeses and yogurts in grocery stores do not usually contain cheeses and yogurts. However, a small selection of yogurts on the market are made of fortified milk to provide this vitamin D supplement. Check the labels to quickly identify them and make reserves for the fridge (yogurt can easily be converted into an iced dessert from its jar, when placed in the freezer).

Nutritional value

Vitamin D-enriched yogurts offer varying amounts: values range from 10 to 30% of the recommended daily value for a 100-gram serving (about 1/2 cup or 125 milliliters). These yogurts are true nutritional gold mines, with protein and calcium, among others, as a bonus.


Daily vitamin D needs Reference Group
400 international units (IU) or 10 micrograms (g) Children under 1 year old breastfed
600 international units (IU) or 15 micrograms (g) Healthy people under 50 (including pregnant and breastfeeding women)
800 international units (IU) or 20 micrograms (g) People over the age of 70 and/or those with osteoporosis
1000 international units (IU) or 25 micrograms (g) For everyone, in autumn and winter, and then for those at risk of osteoporosis, all year round

Involving a calcium intake equivalent to 1200 milligrams (mg) per day.

Health Canada advises adults over the age of 50 to supplement 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D in addition to a healthy diet and calcium intake.

+ posts

Dr. Med. Raoul Hasert is a specialist in dermatology and venereology. He is a senior physician in Praxisklinik Dr. Hasert.

Leave a Comment