Vitamin D is actually a hormone that our bodies produce in the presence of sunlight. In order to ensure the required amount of vitamin D for the body, one has to spend 10-15 minutes in the sun without any sunscreen on. Unfortunately, this is not always possible because of lack of time or climatic conditions. There are indeed vitamin D supplements which can help, but some people prefer to obtain their nutrients from foods. If you are wondering what can I eat to get vitamin D, you need to know that this is a tricky question. There are very few foods which contain this vitamin naturally, a Facebook post I saw recently reminded me of this. Some others, like breakfast cereals or dairy products, are fortified with vitamin D. They are a good option, but they are also controversial. There are two types of vitamin D: D3 (the one which resembles perfectly with the vitamin D the body produces) and D2 (an inferior product). Most of the fortified foods contain D2, so you would be better with consuming foods which naturally contain vitamin D.
However, if sources of vitamin D are pretty rare, the question remains; what can I eat to get vitamin D? There are some foods that can provide the necessary intake of vitamin D and you need to consume them regularly. Fat fish like salmon and tuna are good sources of vitamin D. Wild sockeye salmon is preferred because in contains four times more vitamin D than farmed salmon. Sardines, herring, catfish and mackerel are also good. A 3 ounces of mackerel or sockeye salmon can provide up to 90% of the vitamin D that the body needs. Besides, fat fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have plenty of health benefits. Eggs and liver also contain some vitamin D, but not as much as fish does. A serving size of any of them does not ensure more than 10% of the recommended daily intake. It is for this reason that people who undertake an intermittent fasting diet ensure they get adequate sun exposure.
All the above mentioned vitamin D sources are of animal origin, so you might wonder what can I eat to get vitamin D if I am a vegetarian. Your options are pretty limited, but you can still manage to provide vitamin D to your body from mushrooms. Shiitake and button mushrooms are the best, but make sure they are dried naturally, in sunlight.
It is very important to have enough vitamin D in the body because its deficiency can lead to serious health problems. On the other hand, the body has the ability to store vitamin D and excess can become toxic. Don’t start taking any supplements before discussing with your health care provider. Also refer to http://vitamind.ucr.edu/ for more info.