At least 1 billion global citizens suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. This is a potentially severe condition that can cause a wide range of health problems.
Getting as much of the vitamin as you can is the best way to keep yourself from becoming part of this alarming statistic. There are several sources of vitamin D, including supplements and natural sunlight.
Eating a healthy diet is one of the most effective and direct ways to achieve this goal. Read on for 7 types of foods with high vitamin D content to work into your diet.
5 Sources of Vitamin D
Most of the essential nutrients that our body needs are produced internally without much thought and effort from us. One reason for the prevalence of vitamin D deficiencies is that the body can't produce this essential nutrient on its own.
You must provide the vitamin in any way you can, and not everyone is capable of doing so. One of the most efficient ways is to use food. There are several healthy options, but here are 7 of the best.
Varying up your diet is one of the best ways to keep yourself on track, and there are several different kinds of mushrooms to choose from. The best part is that they're all great sources of vitamin D.
White mushrooms have the highest vitamin D concentration, but portabellas fall closely behind. Other options include raw maitake or dried shitake.
Mushrooms are a healthy option regardless of whether they're eaten on their own or added to a meal.
Chicken breast and ground beef are rich in both protein and vitamins.
No matter how much the idea of them grosses you out, you should consider adding organ meats to your diet. They're one of the most vitamin-rich types of meat a person can eat. Beef liver has one of the highest vitamin D contents of any food.
It's possible to get the correct amount of vitamin D in your diet as a vegetarian, but meats can be an effective source for anyone who chooses to eat them. Check the amounts of vitamin D on all types of meat you eat.
3: Fortified Food and Drinks
Not all kinds of food or drink are capable of serving as efficient sources of vitamin D. The good news is that they can become more nutritious with a few added ingredients. This puts them into a category known as fortified.
Drinks with vitamin D include orange juice and milk. Foods include oats, cereals, and dairy products.
Check the labels for the word fortified the next time you go grocery shopping. It may also help to do research first, as some unscrupulous brands may include a false fortified label.
Most vitamin D supplements are made of fish oil, with cod liver oil being one of the most common and effective options. One would be correct in assuming that, since fish contain this oil, they're rich in vitamin D.
Adding several types of fish to your diet allows you to get more vitamin D along with several other essential nutrients.
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and trout are some of the most vitamin-rich options. Even canned varieties help prevent a deficiency.
Fish may even serve as an alternative to supplements for some people if eaten in large enough amounts. The best idea is to combine it with other daily health practices like getting more direct sunlight.
5: Carotenoid-Rich Foods
Colorful foods are almost always healthier, and there is a reason for this. The pigments that give fruits and vegetables their distinctive colors are known as carotenoids, and they have a variety of health benefits.
Carotenoids have antioxidant properties, healing the skin when it gets damaged. This is especially helpful for getting extra vitamin D from the sun. It helps treat sunburn and other types of UV damage.
Pomegranates are one of the most carotenoid-rich fruits you can choose. Leafy greens are some of the best choices in the vegetable category.
Other types of foods like dark chocolate are also carotenoid-rich. Some drinks will have a similar effect, and green tea is one of the best.
The more you understand what your body needs, the more you'll be able to provide it with every essential nutrient.
Where to Get Vitamin D
There are several ways to prevent a vitamin D deficiency, including stepping out into the sun. One of the best first steps is to work the nutrient into your diet with vitamin-rich foods.
Fish is one of the most common and powerful sources. Mushrooms, meats, and other foods and drinks are also great sources of vitamin D.
Anything fortified with the vitamin will increase its concentration in your body. Carotenoid-rich foods can prevent sun damage when you use sun exposure for an even more powerful effect.