The problem: Vitamin D isn’t found in many foods
With about 20 to 25 minutes of sun exposure daily you’ll get enough vitamin D, Stephen Honig, MD, director of the Osteoporosis Center at the Hospital for Joint Diseases, in New York City, told Health.com. But what if that’s not possible? Vitamin D has been positively linked to stronger bones and to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s, obesity, and depression. (How it works: The sun’s energy helps convert a chemical in your skin into a form of vitamin D.) So you need to be strategic. While experts debate whether supplements are necessary or helpful for most healthy people, eating more of these vitamin D-rich foods is a great way to get what your body needs.
Fatty fish (like salmon, halibut, cod, and tuna) are one of the best food sources of vitamin D. A 3-ounce fillet delivers about 450 IU, which is close to the 600 IU that experts recommend most people eat daily.
Especially the yolks—all of the vitamin D in an egg is found in the yolk. Some eggs boast even higher levels than others: One Eggland’s Best egg, for example, contains four times more vitamin D than ordinary eggs, totaling 30 percent of the daily recommended intake.* (*Based on third-party testing of ordinary eggs.)
A typical eight-ounce glass of cow’s milk contains at least 100 IUs of vitamin D, but the amount can be higher or lower depending on how much of the vitamin is added. Rice milks and soy milk can be fortified as well; check the label.
A variety of cold and hot cereals are now fortified with vitamin D, and some can contain more than 300 IUs of vitamin D per serving to get you halfway to your daily goal. Here, a guide to healthy cereals nutritionists swear by.
Fortified Orange Juice
Like milk, many fortified orange juice brands have extra vitamin D—about 100 IU in an eight-ounce glass. It’s often packaged with added calcium too, which is great because vitamin D helps your body absorb the bone-boosting mineral.