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Sources of Vitamin D: From Sunlight to Substitutes

Vitamin D sources, Food sources of Vitamin D, Vitamin D Deficiency, Sunlight
Food Sources of Vitamin D (Credit:

The significance of the sunshine vitamin, or vitamin D, cannot be understated, as it plays a crucial role in regulating calcium, magnesium and phosphate levels in the body. It also plays a vital role in maintaining strong bones and preventing ailments such as osteoporosis, rickets, osteomalacia, and a weakened immune system. Generally, it is understood that vitamin D can be obtained only from sun rays. It is true, but you can also get vitamin D from certain foods. Vitamin D deficiency can be serious, and as per studies, it is one of the most common issues faced by all age groups globally. It is not only because there is a lack of sunlight exposure but also due to reasons like poor nutrition and darker skin pigment, which may be due to family history.

What is Vitamin D

Unlike vitamins A and C, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and a hormone that is necessary for the body. Alongside, it has several other biological impacts. Without vitamin D, calcium absorption is not possible; hence, not just calcium, but you need sufficient vitamin D to absorb calcium in the blood. The most significant chemicals in vitamin D are vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). To learn more about vitamin D2 and D3, read here. Did you know that vitamin D can reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections, and reduce inflammation?

Take a look at this article to learn about different foods that can help maintain the required level of vitamin D in your body.


Mushrooms are one of the best Vitamin D vegetables because they produce it naturally when exposed to sunlight. They are nutritious and can be boiled, baked, or fried. A 100-gram mushroom has about 2300 IU of vitamin D.


Orange is the best source of calcium, vitamin C and vitamin D. Winter is the right season to get good oranges, have it enough.One cup of organic orange juice has around 100 IU of vitamin D in it.


They are a great source of magnesium, which activates vitamin D in the body. You can have two to three bananas daily for strength and nutritional benefits.


For those who enjoy leafy green veggies, spinach is one of the best sources of vitamin D and calcium. Spinach is a great source of rapid energy and a delicious and healthful addition to any meal.


A good choice for overall enrichment because it not only increases Vitamin D levels but also provides calcium, protein, and gut-friendly bacteria. Daily yogurt intake is highly recommended for women's health.


For vegans, tofu, famously known as cottage cheese can gain a good amount of vitamin D. It can be eaten in gravies or over salad. Eating tofu for around 25 grams daily helps provide a good portion of vitamin D.

Soy milk

This is a plant-based product made by soaking dried soybeans and thoroughly grinding them, and it has the same amount of protein as cow's milk. It also contains a lot of protein, vitamin D, vitamin C, and iron.


One of the best vitamin D substitutes. To maintain vitamin D levels in the body, consume the entire egg rather than just the whites. Eggs are also high in immune-boosting elements such as proteins, zinc, biotin and selenium, which help to build immunity and keep the heart healthy.


A popular fatty fish and a great source of vitamin D and other important nutrients beneficial for bones and muscles. A 100 g serving of salmon gives you around 66 per cent of the daily requirement of vitamin D.


It is valued for its taste-adding attribute and nutritional facts. Cheese contains high phosphorus, fat, protein, vitamins, and calcium content. It can be eaten raw or added to dishes. A 100 grams of cheese contains approx 24 IU of Vitamin D.


Generally considered as the best breakfast option as they contain good amounts of essential vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin D. It is a lighter way to have a healthier breakfast.

Naturally, the sun helps the body produce Vitamin D when it falls on skin. Getting about 20 minutes of some good sunlight everyday is good for physical and mental health too. Sunshine vitamin plays an important role in maintaining bone health and immunity. Incorporate the above-mentioned foods into your diet to maintain your body's essential level of Vitamin D.


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