November 9, 2015 Shape Magazine
Fun fact: Vitamin D isn’t actually a vitamin. It’s a hormone your body produced that must be converted into something called calcitriol, so your body can use it.
And there’s plenty of reasons to get enough D—from building and maintaining strong bones and teeth to boosting your immune system. Even more: Studies have linked inadequate amounts of vitamin D to certain diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, depression, multiple sclerosis, and certain types of cancer. (Vitamin D is just one of the 5 Nutrients Even Healthy People Forget About.)
So how much do you need? The new recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 600 IU for people under 70. And most of the time, you can that amount from sunshine. In the winter, though? Not so much. That’s why we rounded up eight foods that will fill you up on your daily dose and keep your from being D-ficient.
Three ounces of cooked rainbow trout contain 645 IU, and this fish is one of the highest sources of vitamin D! It’s also a rich source of omega-3 fats, which studies have found can help reduce your risk of dying from heart disease by 15 percent. Seafood for dinner, anyone?
Vitamin D is fortified (or added) into milk, which makes sense since the vitamin works with calcium to keep your bones healthy. One cup of low fat (1 percent) milk contains 98 IU of vitamin D, which—although not the highest source—will still help you reach your daily goal.
All mushrooms contain vitamin D, but growers can actually increase levels by exposing them to ultraviolet (UV) light—mushrooms naturally produce the vitamin after exposure. In fact, with as little as five minutes of UV light exposure, the D content can increase significantly. Portobella mushrooms exposed to UV light and then cooked contain 493 IU of vitamin D. We’ll take it!
Many people don’t appreciate the nutritional powerhouse sardines really are. One ounce (about two sardines) canned in oil is an excellent source of selenium, vitamin B12, calcium—and packs 13 percent of the recommended daily amount of D. These babies also provide a healthy dose of omega-3 fats.
Check the bottle. Many oranges juices are fortified with both D and calcium—a win-win if you’re deficient or simply trying to up your daily intake
Looking to up your levels of D? Stop tossing those golden yolks! One large egg contains 18.2 IU of vitamin D, which is found in the yolk (not the white).
Fortified cereal (check the label to see how much you’re getting!) + milk = a seriously healthy dose of vitamin D to start of your day.
Fish are a fabulous source of vitamin D—and salmon’s no exception. Three ounces of cooked Chinook salmon provide 570 IU. Look for Sockeye and pink, two varieties of the fish that are rich in the vitamin.