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Top 15 Vitamin D Rich Foods

LivingFoodTop 15 Vitamin D Rich Foods

Here today we have gotten you the top 15 Vitamin D Rich Foods you should add to your diet for stronger bones and overall health. Which Includes fatty fish, fortified foods like milk and orange juice, mushrooms, and more.

1. Herring (3.5-0z) – 680 IU

Herring are a type of small, silverfish that travel in large schools and are part of the Clupeidae family. These fish are an important food source for humans and contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. However, herring is arguably best known as an excellent source of vitamin D. A mere 3.5-ounce serving provides 680 IU of vitamin D, making herring one of the richest sources of this essential nutrient.

Image: Polish Herrings in Oil (Source: thespruceeats)

In addition to their impressive vitamin D content, Herring provides heart-healthy omega-3 fats that support cardiovascular wellness. The combination of high vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid levels makes herring an ideal food for improving bone health and overall well-being. Though not as popular or well-known as salmon, herring delivers tremendous nutritional value and deserves more attention as a way to obtain ample vitamin D.

2. Salmon (cooked, 3.5oz) – 566 IU

Salmon is one of the most popular and nutritious fish available. Classified as an oily fish, salmon is prized for its high content of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and vitamin D.

Farmed salmon contains over 500 IU of vitamin D per 100-gram serving, providing 66% of the daily recommended value. Meanwhile, wild-caught salmon is even richer in vitamin D, with nearly 1000 IU per serving—surpassing the daily recommended intake.

Image: Sizzling Garlic Salmon with Sheet Pan Potatoes (Source: foodandwine)

Between its impressive vitamin D content and abundance of other nutrients like protein and omega-3 fats, salmon is considered an excellent, delicious, and nutritious fish. Its high levels of vitamin D in particular make it a standout choice for supporting bone health and overall wellbeing.

Salmon can be cooked in endless ways and incorporated into diverse meals and cuisines. Whether grilled, baked, or prepared sushi-style, salmon remains one of the most prized fish available, thanks largely to its wealth of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats like vitamin D and omega-3s.

3. Mackerel (canned, 3oz) – 504 IU

Mackerel is an oily fish that is enjoyed worldwide as an important food source. Hailing from the same fish family as tuna, mackerel contains significant levels of omega-3 fatty acids that provide health benefits.

Image: Fried mackerel in a spicy sauce (Source: bbc.co.uk)

In terms of vitamin D content, a standard 3.5-ounce serving of mackerel (about 3 fish) contains over 80 IU of vitamin D3. This equates to around 27 IU of vitamin D3 per individual mackerel fish.

While not as well-known as salmon, mackerel is still considered an excellent source of vitamin D. The combination of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids in mackerel makes it valuable for supporting bone, heart, brain, and overall health.

4. Tuna fish (canned, 3oz) – 228 IU

Tuna is another fish that contains significant amounts of vitamin D. A 100-gram portion provides approximately 270 IU, delivering over 30% of the recommended daily vitamin D intake.

Tuna can be purchased fresh, but the canned variety offers a particularly convenient way to keep tuna on hand for quick, budget-friendly meals and recipes. Canned tuna is easily stored in the pantry and can be used to make classic dishes like tuna sandwiches, tuna tartare, and tuna salad.

Tuna Fish
Image: Tuna Fish Salad (Source: allrecipes)

While tuna is prized for being high in vitamin D, it does also contain moderate levels of methylmercury. Consuming tuna in moderation is recommended, rather than frequently eating large amounts, to avoid potential mercury toxicity.

5. Sardines (canned, 3oz) – 164 IU

Sardines, sometimes known as pilchards, are small, oily forage fish that are widely consumed by humans. They also serve as an important food source for larger fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. As an oily fish, sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids that offer health benefits.

Image: Sardines with chilli, garlic and lemon (Source: realfood)

While fresh sardines provide vitamin D, the canned variety is particularly notable as an excellent source of this nutrient. A mere 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of canned sardines packs 193 IU of vitamin D, delivering 24% of the recommended daily value.

6. Egg yolks – 41 IU

Eggs are an extremely versatile food, used in everything from breakfast staples to decadent desserts. And while eggs may not seem like a typical source of vitamins, the nutrient-dense yolk provides valuable vitamin D.

Egg Yolks
Image: Salted Egg Yolks (Source: eatlittlebird)

Unlike the white, all the vitamin D in an egg comes from the yolk. Each yolk contains approximately 40 IUs of vitamin D, making eggs an easy way to add a bit more of this key vitamin into your daily diet.

However, it’s important not to overdo it on eggs as the sole source of vitamin D, as they also contain about 200 mg of cholesterol each. Enjoying an egg or two daily can provide vitamin D, but eggs shouldn’t be the only source in your diet.

7. Shrimp (cooked, 3oz) – 152 IU

Shrimp are appreciated as a lean protein source found in cuisines around the world. However, these flavorful crustaceans provide more than just protein—they also supply a meaningful amount of vitamin D.

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A 3.5-ounce serving of cooked shrimp contains about 150 IU of vitamin D. While not the highest vitamin D content among seafood, shrimp still furnish a decent amount to contribute to your daily needs.

Image: Shrimp in Garlic Sauce (Source: foodandwine)

One of the appeals of shrimp is their versatility. They can be prepared grilled, baked, sautéed, or incorporated into soups, salads, pasta and more. This makes it easy to enjoy shrimp’s briny sweetness while also gaining vitamin D and protein in the process.

8. Fortified Milk – 115-124 IU

Traditional dairy milk can be enriched or “fortified” with extra vitamin D, providing around 115-124 IU per serving. This fortification also applies to plant-based milk alternatives like soy, almond and oat milk.

Opting for fortified varieties allows vegans and vegetarians to enjoy vitamin D levels comparable to regular dairy milk. Per serving, fortified plant-based milk generally contains around 100 IU of added vitamin D.

Fortified Milk
Image: Fortification of milk and dairy products (Source: lohmann-minerals)

In addition to vitamin D, fortified milk also provides calcium and other important nutrients. This makes fortified dairy and plant-based milk a valuable option for those avoiding animal products but still seeking to maintain bone health and meet nutritional needs.

9. Yogurt (fortified with vitamin D, 6oz) – 80 IU

Yogurt can be an excellent source of vitamin D, especially varieties fortified with extra amounts of this nutrient. While a glass of fortified milk may contain around 120 IU of vitamin D, fortified yogurts provide a decent amount as well.

Image: Vitamin D3 fortification of yogurt (Source: yogurtinnutrition)

On average, fortified yogurt contains between 2-3 mcg (80-120 IU) of vitamin D per 6-ounce serving. As with fortified kinds of milk, opting for a yogurt labelled as “vitamin D fortified” ensures you are getting bonus amounts of this essential vitamin.

However, some yogurt brands also contain high amounts of added sugars, so it is important to read labels and choose unsweetened or lightly sweetened options.

10. Orange juice (fortified with vitamin D, 1 cup) – 100 IU

Orange juice is a breakfast staple enjoyed by many as a refreshing source of vitamin C. While fresh-squeezed OJ does not naturally contain vitamin D, many commercially sold orange juices are enriched with this key nutrient.

Orange Juice
Image: Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice (Source: healthline)

By opting for a store-bought orange juice brand that is fortified with vitamin D, you can gain about 100 IU per one-cup serving. This equates to around 12% of the recommended daily value for vitamin D.

11. Cereal (fortified with vitamin D, 0.75-1 cup) – 40 IU

Many popular breakfast cereals, including flakes, granola, muesli, and oats, are enriched with added vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D is one nutrient commonly included in cereal fortification.

Image: The First Breakfast Cereal (Source: magicspoon)

On average, a 3/4 to 1 cup serving of fortified cereal provides around 40-80 IU of vitamin D. While not the highest source, this still equates to 5-10% of the recommended daily value, making cereal a convenient way to incorporate more vitamin D into your morning meal.

12. Beef liver (cooked, 3oz) – 50 IU

Beef liver may not seem like an obvious source of vitamin D, but this nutrient-dense organ meat packs an impressive amount of key vitamins and minerals.

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A 3.5-ounce serving of cooked beef liver provides around 50 IU of vitamin D. While lower than fatty fish, this still contributes meaningfully to your daily vitamin D requirements.

Beef Liver
Image: Raw Beef liver cutting (Source: themeateater)

Beef liver also contains ample vitamin A, niacin, vitamin B12, copper, and other nutrients. This makes it far more nutritious than typical muscle meats.

13. Cheese (Swiss, cheddar, 1oz) – 6 IU

Cheese is beloved for its diverse flavors and smooth, rich texture. But it also provides small but meaningful amounts of important nutrients like vitamin D.

Different cheese varieties contain slightly different levels of vitamin D. However, most provide around 6-20 IU per ounce. While not huge on its own, enjoying cheese regularly contributes valuable amounts of vitamin D each day.

Image: Swiss/Cheddar Cheese (Source: Talevr/GettyImages)

Eating a variety of cheese types allows you to gain vitamin D while also enjoying an array of textures and flavors. Incorporating cheeses like Swiss, cheddar, parmesan, and others makes for nutritious snacking.

14. Mushrooms (exposed to UV light, 0.5 cup) – 76 IU

For those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, getting enough vitamin D from natural food sources can be challenging since the main sources are animal-based. However, with a little extra effort, mushrooms present a plant-based way to obtain vitamin D.

Image: Creamy mushrooms and rice on a side (Source: bbc.co.uk)

Wild mushrooms can synthesize high levels of vitamin D from sun exposure, with about 2300 IU per 100 grams. But commercially grown mushrooms are often kept in darkness, preventing vitamin D production.

Despite this, exposing store-bought mushrooms to just 20 minutes of UV light can enable them to generate some vitamin D – around 76 IU per half-cup.

15. Cod liver oil (1 tbsp) – 1,360 IU

Cod liver oil is not a common dietary staple. However, this supplement oil derived from fish livers provides a concentrated dose of vitamin D that can greatly benefit health.

While not appetizing to consume by the spoonful, just one teaspoon of cod liver oil furnishes around 450 IU vitamin D. That’s a substantial amount from just a small serving.

Cod Liver Oil
Image: Cod Liver Oil is Benefits For Skin and Health (Source: bebeautiful)

In addition to its ample vitamin D, cod liver oil supplies omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for heart health. The combination of vitamin D and omega-3s makes cod liver oil an advantageous supplement.

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