Foods That Contain Vitamin D

Until very recently, there has not been much attention given to vitamin D. It's as if everyone just assumed that it was easy to come by, and deficiencies didn't exist.

When you take a closer look, you realize that it isn't the slam-dunk you were led to believe. For one, foods high in vitamin D are not all that common. Milk and orange juice are the most well-known foods that contain vitamin D in significant amounts, but that's only because they've been fortified with it.

Why Fortified Milk and Orange Juice Are Not Good Options. Many nutritionists these days don't recommend drinking a lot of milk and orange juice, or any at all, for that matter. Milk, especially pasteurized milk, is no longer considered a very healthy food by many, let alone "nature's most perfect food," as touted by the dairy industry.

Drinking several glasses of orange juice to get your daily dose of vitamin D means consuming a lot of sugar, which can create problems with your glucose and insulin levels. Besides, you'd have to drink 10 glasses a day to get your minimum requirement. So what are the other foods that contain vitamin D?

Foods high in vitamin D include the following short list:

  • salmon (3oz.) - 310IU
  • sardines (1 tin) - 520IU
  • mackerel (3oz.) - 290IU
  • tuna,canned, (3oz.) - 200IU
  • milk (8oz, fortified) - 100IU
  • orange juice (8oz, fortified) - 100IU
  • eggs (1 lg.) - 70IU

As you can see from this list, there are not a lot of foods that contain vitamin D. This makes getting ample amounts of vitamin D from your diet difficult, if not impractical.

RDA for Vitamin D are Outdated

Even if you eat plenty of the foods that contain vitamin D, it's not realistic to get all your vitamin D that way. When foods are fortified with vitamin D, the amounts they use are set with the goal of getting the official government Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of between 200 and 600IU of vitamin D per day.

However, vitamin D research studies have found that these amounts are not enough to provide the vitamin D levels needed for good bone mineral density, dental health, fractures and cancer prevention.

The truth is that everyone's daily requirement for vitamin D varies.
Factors that determine this include:

  • your amount of sun exposure
  • how far you live from the equator
  • your skin coloration
  • your body weight
  • your body's ability to process vitamin D

For a closer look, go to my page on the
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency.

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?

If you regularly avoid direct sun exposure, and don't take any supplements, you almost certainly have low vitamin D levels. The only way to determine this for sure is to get your vitamin D levels tested. You can even get a test kit that will allow you to do this at home.

See Vitamin D Blood Test for specific details.

Everyone needs regular direct sunlight several times a week. In just 30 minutes in the summer midday sun, your body can produce almost 20,000IU of vitamin D. It really doesn't take long to build up some reserve.

In the winter months, natural supplements in the form of D-3 (cholocalcerifol) can provide you with vitamin D when sun's rays are too weak. Nutritionists are now recommending supplementing with a minimum of 1,000 to 2,000IU a day for general preventive health.

See my page on Vitamin D Dosage
for more information on your daily vitamin D needs.

Visit other pages in this website on vitamin D:

Vitamin D Facts

Health Benefits of Vitamin D

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D Dosage

Vitamin D Toxicity

Vitamin D Blood Test

Vitamin D From Sun Exposure

Other Great Resources for Vitamin D Information

Grassroots Health A consortium committed to solving the worldwide vitamin D deficiency epidemic.

Dr. Mercola's Video Lecture on the latest science on vitamin D.

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need? Article by Dr. Mercola.

Antioxidants Home Page from Foods That Contain Vitamin D


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