Vitamin D Sources
Vitamin D is essential for bone health. Recent research suggests it may have ot12.0her benefits, too, such as protecting against colds and fighting depression. A few minutes of daily sunlight can help your body make much of the vitamin D it needs. Is that bad for your skin as you age? Not if you don’t overdo it, many experts say, and the payoff could be huge.
More than half of all women are thought to be deficient in vitamin D, and the latest evidence from Johns Hopkins University confirms that failing to get enough boosts your risk of death by 26%.
That’s why it’s probably worth getting your levels checked with a simple blood test. If you’re low, eat more D–rich foods: dairy, fish like salmon and tuna, and fortified cereals and orange juice. Talk to your doctor about supplements too.
However, if you don’t spend enough time in the sun or if your body has trouble absorbing the vitamin, you may not get enough. Here are suggested ways to ensure adequate intake of your daily Vitamin D.
- Sunlight, 20-25 minutes is all you need if your goal is Vitamin D
- A 3-ounce sockeye salmon fillet contains about 450 international units (IUs) of vitamin D—a good portion of the 600 IUs that is the Institute of Medicine’s recommended dietary allowance (800 IUs if you’re over 70).
- Canned light tuna has the most vitamin D—about 150 IUs per 4 ounces—while canned albacore tuna has about 50 IUs per 4 ounces.
- Just like humans, mushrooms have the capacity to produce vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light. Mushrooms, however, are usually grown in the dark and don’t contain the vitamin. Specific brands, however, are grown in ultraviolet light to spur vitamin D production. Check to see if vitamin D–rich ‘shrooms, like Dole’s Portobello Mushrooms, are available at a store near you. They’re perfect for vegetarians looking for plant-based foods that contain the vitamin. Dole’s portobellos will give you 400 IUs of vitamin D per 3-ounce serving (about 1 cup of diced mushrooms).
- An 8-ounce glass of milk contains at least 100 IUs of vitamin D, and a 6-ounce serving of yogurt contains 80 IUs, but the amount can be higher (or lower) depending on how much is added.
- One 8-ounce glass of fortified juice usually has around 100 IUs of vitamin D, but the amount varies from brand to brand. Not all brands are fortified, so check the label. Two fortified brands, Florida Natural Orange Juice and Minute Maid Kids+ Orange Juice, contain 100 IUs per 8-ounce serving.
- Since the vitamin D in an egg comes from its yolk, it’s important to use the whole egg—not just the whites. One yolk will give you about 40 IUs, but don’t try to get your daily vitamin D just from eggs.
**Adults should aim for 600 I.U. (International Units) per day and raise that to 800 I.U. after age 70.