Vitamin D Rich Foods

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 11/12/2023

Vitamin D, also named calciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin required by the human body in appropriate quantities. It can also be produced in the body if the human body comes in contact with direct sunlight.

There are many vitamin D-rich food sources and supplements available. The Vitamin D obtained from supplements, food sources, sunlight, etc, is biologically inert by the body and goes through two hydroxylation processes for activation.

The first hydroxylation process occurs in the liver, which converts vitamin D into calcidiol, and the second hydroxylation process occurs in the kidney, which converts vitamin D into calcitriol.

Vitamin D intake is vital for human bones, nerves and muscles. Deficiency or lack of vitamin D can cause various problems, such as cardiac-related issues, brittle bones and more. Excess of vitamin D can cause a risk of kidney stones.

That's why having vitamin-D-rich food sources in adequate quantities in your diet is necessary. In this blog, we will understand all about vitamin D-rich foods - vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

Why Do You Need Vitamin D-Rich Food Sources?

Vitamin D is known to be a pro hormone, which means the body converts vitamins into hormones. The human body must have adequate Vitamin D for proper functioning. It serves different purposes in the body, such as heart health, inflammation, brain health and more.

One of the significant purposes of vitamin D-rich food sources is to absorb phosphorus and calcium during digestion. It is needed by the body to support bone health, muscle function and more.

Not just this, foods that are rich in vitamin D3 help in regulating the immune system. It can also help in mood regulation and improve mental health.

How Much Vitamin D Should You Get?

Vitamin D should be consumed in adequate quantities; too much consumption can also affect the overall health of human beings. It is measured in IU (international units) and mcg (micrograms). It has been concluded that 40 IU is equal to 1 mcg.

Below is the tabular representation of Vitamin D consumption per gender and age.

<td>Over 70 years</td>
<td>20 mcg or 800 IU</td>
Population Group Age Group Vitamin D Quantity
Infants 0 to 12 months 10 mcg or 400 IU
Children 1 to 18 years 15 mcg or 600 IU
Adults Up to 70 years 15 mcg or 800 IU
Pregnant Woman NA 15 mcg or 600 IU

List of Vitamin D-Rich Foods in India - Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian

Individuals can obtain vitamin D from plant-based and animal-based sources. Let's discuss both in detail.

List of Vitamin D-Rich Foods Vegetarian

Let's look at vitamin D vegetables, fruits and fortified foods in India.

Kale- One of the main vitamin D vegetables is Kale, also known as Brassica oleracea variety acephala is the king of leafy vegetables. It is a rich vitamin D and B source and has various nutritional advantages such as improving the immune system, proper functioning of the brain and more. Individuals prefer to take Kale as salad dressing, juice and more.

Mushrooms- Another vitamin-D-rich food in the vegetarian category is mushroom, which is also known as Agaricus bisporus. It is widely available and an excellent source of vitamin D. However, most mushrooms do not contain vitamin D until they get proper UV light. The quantity of vitamin D in mushrooms depends on the UV light treatment. Mushrooms can be consumed raw on salads, or it can go as a critical ingredient in omelette, pasta, veggie stuffed portobellos and more.

Orange- Orange is a widely available fruit known as Citrus X sinesi. This vitamin D fruit has antioxidant properties, which means it helps the body fight infection. Since it is rich in vitamin D, it helps in the body making collagen, protecting cells from damage and more. It has been reported that one glass of orange juice has 137 IU of vitamin D and can contribute to the daily dosage of vitamin D.

Cheese- Another vitamin D-rich food in the vegetarian category is cheese, which is rich in protein, calcium, fat, phosphorus and more. Cheese is a widely popular addition to diet which can go with anything. People like to consume cheese raw and along with different foods like bread, pasta and all. One gram of cheddar cheese contains 24 IU of vitamin D. Further, one gram of Swiss cheese contains 20 IU of vitamin D.

Fortified Foods- There are different vitamin D fortified foods in India, such as cereals, milk, yoghurt and more. Different types of fortified milk, such as almond or soy milk, contain around 115 to 124 IU of vitamin D. These milk can be used in making milkshakes and smoothies. Further fortified yoghurt can contribute 10-20 % of daily vitamin D intake and is also suitable for gut health. Other than this, fortified cereals have 40 IU of vitamin D per serving.

List of Vitamin D-Rich Foods Non- Vegetarian

When it comes to vitamin D fruits and vegetables listed in India, the options are limited, but if you prefer animal-based products, choices are widely available. Some of the popular vitamin D-rich non-vegetarian foods are:

Salmon- The very first vitamin D-rich fish in India is salmon, which is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, protein and vitamin D. The cooked sockeye salmon contains 570 IU of vitamin D, and pink canned salmon contains 465 IU of vitamin D. It helps in keeping cardiovascular and pulmonary health in check.

Tuna Fish- Another vitamin D-rich fish in India is canned or packaged tuna. Three ounces of packaged tuna contains around 154 IU of vitamin D. The packaged tuna can be an easy option for people looking for a leisurely lunch. It can go with a tuna salad or a sandwich. Since it is affordable and has a good shelf life, it is the preferred vitamin D food choice.

Herring- Herring is another small fish rich in vitamin D. This fish is often pickled or smoked. The 3.5-ounce fresh Atlantic herring contains 214 IU of vitamin D. The 3.5-ounce pickled herring contains 214 IU of vitamin D. Not just this, Pickled herring is also a good source of sodium.

Egg Yolks- Almost everybody likes to have eggs for breakfast, and its yolk is an excellent source of vitamin D. One egg yolk has around 41 IU of vitamin D, 10% of daily vitamin D intake. Besides vitamin D, eggs are also a great source of protein, selenium, choline and more.

Swordfish- It is another vitamin D-rich fish which is very tasty and versatile. Three ounces of swordfish contain 566 IU of vitamin D. It should be consumed once or twice weekly. Besides this, pregnant women and children should avoid giant swordfish as it has a high level of mercury contamination.

Cod Liver Oil- It is a popular supplement that has plenty of health benefits, such as good heart health, reduced inflammation and more. It is an excellent alternative for those who dislike consuming fish. One teaspoon of cod liver oil has 450 IU of vitamin D. It is also rich in vitamin A.

Problems Caused By Vitamin D Deficiency

Improper and inadequate quantity of Vitamin D in bodies can lead to vitamin D deficiency, which causes various health issues. Some of the chronic medical illnesses caused due to vitamin D deficiency are:

  • Weak bones and muscles.

  • Diabetes

  • Immune system disorder

  • Heart disease

  • Kidney disorder

  • Rockets

  • Osteomalacia

  • Recurrent infections

How Does a Health Insurance Plan Help in Fighting Medical Conditions?

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In this modern world, where inflation is at its peak, getting proper medical care can be tricky if you don't have a medical insurance plan.

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Vitamin D is necessary for the human body as it supports bone density and immune function. To keep our body healthy, proper intake of vitamin D is necessary. Individuals can take or consume vitamin D in the form of supplements and foods. However, the sun is the best and most natural form of obtaining vitamin D.

It is best to spend 10 to 20 minutes in direct sunlight in the early morning hours after sunrise. However, if you live in a cold region without direct sunlight, it is best to consult with your doctor about vitamin D intake.


Are bananas high in vitamin D?

Bananas are a popular fruit that is rich in magnesium, which is essential for getting the benefits of vitamin D. The magnesium in bananas does the work when it enters the bloodstream by activating vitamin D.

Which dry fruit has more vitamin D?

The dry fruits rich in vitamin D are almonds and anjeer, also known as figs.

Are there any foods that are rich in vitamin D3?

Some of the foods that are rich in vitamin D3 are cheese, fatty fish, and more.

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