Vitamin D is a fat-soluble micronutrient whose functions include promoting absorption of calcium, bone development and maintenance and control of cell growth. Vitamin D also has anti-inflammatory properties and supports the immune system. The recommended daily allowance or RDA for vitamin D is 400 international units or IU for infants less than one year, 600 IU for males and females aged one to 70 years, and 800 IU for those over 70 years. Deficiency in vitamin D can lead to weak bones, rickets, osteomalacia, poor growth and weakened immunity. Excessive vitamin D can lead to absorption of too much calcium, kidney stones and an increased risk of heart disease 1.
Vitamin D is synthesized in the body by the action of sunlight on the skin. It also occurs naturally in some foods. Many foods are fortified with the vitamin to prevent deficiency. Following are 10 foods high in vitamin D.
Vitamin D Rich Food #1: Salmon
Salmon is one of the richest foods in vitamin D. Three ounces of cooked sockeye salmon contain 447 IUs of vitamin D, which is more than 70 percent of the RDA for this vitamin. Other fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, sardines and trout also have significant amounts of vitamin D.
Salmon is also a rich source of protein, omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, minerals like potassium and selenium, and the antioxidant astaxanthin. Eating salmon can help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease. To access more nutritional benefits from salmon and other fish, choose wild caught instead of farmed fish.