6 Healthy (and Delicious) Foods That Are High in Vitamin D
News flash: Most humans are lacking in vitamin D—especially in the winter, when there’s less opportunity to soak up the sun. According to the National Institutes of Health, women between the ages of 19 and 50 should aim to get 600 IUs (International Units) of vitamin D every day. While very few foods are naturally high in the vitamin (meaning you might want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement), there are certain healthy foods you can eat to up your intake. Here are six, along with delicious ways to prepare them.
Swordfish (IUs per serving: 560)
This meaty white fish is a nutritional powerhouse. One serving is relatively low in calories but high in protein and healthy fats. An excellent source of vitamin D where food is concerned, it’s also just really delicious (and easy to prepare).
What to make: Lime Basil Grilled Swordfish Steaks
Salmon (447 IUs per serving)
Another fish that’s naturally high in vitamin D. While nutrient databases don’t always specify the difference in vitamin D levels in wild versus farmed salmon, studies (like this one from Boston University) have found that wild salmon contains up to 25 percent more vitamin D than farmed salmon.
What to make: One-Pan Roasted Salmon with Potatoes and Romaine
Canned Tuna (154 IUs per serving)
Canned tuna is a pantry staple. It lasts forever (well, a very long time), and is really versatile. In addition to being a good source of vitamin D, it also boasts impressive levels of niacin and vitamin K.
What to make: Tuna Sushi Stacks
Orange Juice (137 IUs per serving)
If fish isn’t your thing, you could also load up on OJ. Whether that means drinking a glass in the morning or adding it to your favorite salad dressings, it’s got lots of vitamin D as well as vitamins A and C, thiamin, folate, potassium and fiber.
What to make: Winter Citrus and Pomegranate Salad
Milk (120 IUs per serving)
This is more of a special treat, but yes, we’re suggesting you drink a milkshake to up your levels of vitamin D. In addition to being a good source of vitamin D, milk (non-fat, reduced fat and whole) packs an additional punch with nutrients like calcium, phosphorous and riboflavin. FYI, also in the dairy category is yogurt, which has 80 IUs of vitamin D per serving.
What to make: Mocha Milkshakes
Egg Yolks (41 IUs per egg)
Forget the whole “egg white only, please” thing. The vitamin D in eggs is actually only found in the yolk (and it’s so much yummier). Also, consider buying free-range eggs, which, according to a study at the Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences in Germany, produce levels of vitamin D that are three or four times higher than conventional eggs. Why? Free-range chickens roam outside and are exposed to more sunlight.
What to make: Bacon-Wrapped Eggs