Did you know that there are many foods, fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin D?
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in bone health, immune function, cardiovascular health, and cancer prevention.
This article will list the top 8 fruits and vegetables with vitamin D along with other foods that have higher levels of vitamin D than others. Enjoy!
What Is Vitamin D?
Like calcium, vitamin D is critical for bone health.
The body manufactures vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, so it’s difficult to get enough of it from food sources alone.
Luckily, there are many fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin D—here are a few of them.
We suggest you have most of your vitamin D from exposure to sunlight (10 minutes on face/arms or 20 minutes on back once per week) unless you live in an area where sunlight levels are not sufficient.
Since UVB rays in sunlight can be dangerous, always wear sunscreen when spending time outside.
And always remember that overexposure to UV rays is just as harmful as insufficient exposure, always make sure you spend some time in the shade between bouts of sunning.
How To Tell If You’re Getting Enough Vitamin D
The easiest way to tell if you’re getting enough vitamin D is by checking your blood levels.
Ask your doctor to do a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test, also known as a 25(OH)D test.
This will tell you whether you’re getting enough of the vitamin that helps regulate calcium levels in your body.
You can opt for food sources over supplements: Since few foods naturally contain vitamin D, most of our dietary intake comes from fortified foods like milk or breakfast cereals.
Benefits Of Vitamin D
Although it’s often overshadowed by vitamin C, many health experts believe that vitamin D is a more critical nutrient than its better-known counterpart.
In fact, several recent studies have confirmed what scientists have long suspected that vitamin D may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers as well as help fight conditions like osteoporosis.
However, since it’s produced in our bodies through sun exposure, too many people don’t get enough of it.
That’s why it can be helpful to stock up on foods rich in vitamin D top sources include salmon, tuna and fortified milk.
Here are 8 fruits, vegetables and foods that contains Vitamin D.
1) Brussels Sprouts
This veggie is packed with vitamin C, fiber, B vitamins, folic acid, potassium and manganese.
A half-cup of brussels sprouts has only 20 calories but is also rich in glucosinolates that have anticancer effects in addition to other benefits.
Brussels sprouts contain vitamin K, which plays a role in blood clotting and bone health.
Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants that may protect your cells from damage by harmful free radicals.
And eating them may help prevent colon cancer because they contain indole-3-carbinol, a compound that prevents cell changes linked to cancer development.
Mushrooms are naturally high in vitamin D, just one mushroom contains about 35 IUs of vitamin D.
Mushrooms are a great source of fiber too. On average, you’ll find more than 1 gram of fiber per cup of white button mushrooms.
Adding mushrooms to your diet not only helps increase your intake of vitamins and minerals, but also boosts nutrition overall.
3) Sweet Potatoes
A large baked sweet potato contains over three times as much vitamin D as a cup of fortified milk.
Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, manganese, copper, and potassium. Plus, they are incredibly filling (keep you full longer).
A delicious way to enjoy them is by slicing them into rounds and roasting them in your oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, then top it off with butter, salt and pepper.
Mash it up so that it resembles mashed potatoes!
You’ll get eight grams of protein, nine grams of fiber, 32 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A and 42 percent of your daily recommended intake of iron.
One cup of cooked spinach packs a whopping 415 IU of vitamin D, as well as iron and calcium, to name a few. Peas: Like most legumes, peas are rich in protein (11 g per cup) and fiber (5 g per cup).
They’re also one of nature’s best sources of vitamin K, which is important for heart health.
Add a dash of lemon juice or sprinkle some freshly chopped mint leaves on top if you want to mix things up; both ingredients provide flavor and calcium.
Broccoli contains 10 micrograms of vitamin D per cup. It is often overlooked as a source of vitamin D, but it makes up for that oversight in its sheer versatility.
Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked in your favorite dishes, including lasagna, soups, stir-fries, stews, salads and casseroles.
Your body will absorb broccoli’s vitamin D even better if you lightly steam it first.
There are two types of vitamin D in our diet.
One is called cholecalciferol and is synthesized in our skin when exposed to sunlight, while others are found in animal-based products such as milk or eggs.
Many plant foods contain different types of vitamin D, including bananas. The body can use both forms of vitamin D, but not all foods that have vitamin D contain cholecalciferol.
At just about 100 calories per medium banana, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more nutritious (and tasty) source of vitamin D.
Add some over-ripe bananas to your morning smoothie, or slice them up on top of some whole-grain toast.
Bananas are also a good source of dietary fiber, which will help keep your digestive system running smoothly.
They’re even higher in potassium than many citrus fruits—which can lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease—and they pack a powerful dose of B vitamins that can strengthen your immune system.
Overall, they make an excellent addition to any meal or snack!
7) Oily Fish, Salmon & Sardines
Oily fish is a great source of vitamin D. In fact, just one salmon fillet contains 84 IU of vitamin D.
Another great source of vitamin D from fish is sardines, which contain about 44 IU per serving.
If you aren’t keen on eating fish, you can also opt for egg yolks as they’re packed with 56 IU per yolk!
Yes, they’re fruit. Yes, they’re full of vitamin C.
But did you know that orange can contain up to 90 percent of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin D?
In fact, depending on where you live and what season it is, certain types of oranges can be your only source of vitamin D.
A single medium-sized orange contains 122 IU—or 42 percent—of your RDI for vitamin D!
There are other fruits high in vitamin D as well, such as cantaloupe, grapefruit and papaya; however, those aren’t among my favorites so I wasn’t sure if I should recommend them.
Remember: It’s really important to stay hydrated when you are trying to lose weight; don’t reach for soda or coffee when a glass of water will do; reach for some orange juice instead!