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What Foods Have Vitamin D?

You don’t need us to tell you how important it is to get a proper amount of vitamin D! Your doctors have been telling you since you were a little kid. Even still, most Americans don’t know what foods they need to eat to reach the recommended daily value of vitamin D. Here are the foods Dr. Hee and the team here at Healing Hands Chiropractic recommend the people of Murfreesboro, Tennessee eat! 

Table of Contents

Why Is Vitamin D Important?

Vitamin D

You surely have heard about how important vitamin D is in regard to our overall well being; the COVID-19 pandemic has placed a larger emphasis on the importance of vitamin D. Research and studies have pointed to COVID-19 having a more devastating effect on those who have low levels of vitamin D. 

It’s important because vitamin D is needed to keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t produce vitamin D by themselves, so it’s up to you to get the amount of vitamin D that you need. From about late March/early April to the end of September, the majority of people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight on their skin.

Foods That Have Vitamin D

If you are unable to get the proper amount of vitamin D needed from the sun, you can get an ample amount of the nutrients through your diet. The recommended daily value is 800 IU of vitamin D per day from foods. If you don’t get enough sunlight, your intake should likely be closer to 1,000 IU per day. Here are some foods you can add to your diet that are high in vitamin D:


Salmon is one of the healthiest foods you can eat as is most white-meat fish. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Composition Database, one 3.5-ounce serving of farmed Atlantic salmon contains 526 IU of vitamin D. This accounts for 66% of the recommended daily value. 

Now, it’s important to know whether or not the salmon is wild or farmed when picking out the salmon you want to eat. A wild-caught salmon packs 988 IU of Vitamin D per 3.5-ounce serving, or 124% of the DV.  However, farmed salmon contains only 25% of that amount. Still, one serving of farmed salmon provides about 250 IU of vitamin D or 32% of the DV

Herring and Sardines

Herring is one of the most commonly eaten fish in the world as it can be served raw, canned, smoked, or pickled. Even though this fish is small, it packs a huge punch when it comes to vitamin D. Fresh Atlantic herring provides 216 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, which is 27% of the DV.

It’s important to note that pickled herring can contain a high amount of sodium, which can be unhealthy if too much is consumed. Canned sardines are a good source of vitamin D as well — one can contain 177 IU or 22% of the DV. Other fatty fishes also contain high amounts of vitamin D. They are also widely considered one of the healthiest foods you can eat. 

Cod Liver Oil

Once again, we’re talking about fish. This is because naturally caught fish are typically high in vitamin D as well as other positive nutrients. Unfortunately, many people don’t like eating fish. If this is the case for you, taking cod liver oil can be key to obtaining certain nutrients that are unavailable in other sources. 

It provides around 448 IU per teaspoon, making a massive 56% portion of the recommended DV. Cod liver oil is likewise a fantastic source of vitamin A, with 150% of the DV in just one teaspoon. However, vitamin A can be toxic in high amounts. Keep this in mind when consuming cod liver oil, as too much can be toxic. 

Canned Tuna

Surprise! More fish! Most of the people who enjoy eating canned tuna enjoy it because it can be tasty and it’s easy to store. It’s also much cheaper than buying fresh fish regularly. However, canned tuna also provides 34% of the recommended DV every 3.5-ounce serving. 

Much like every other fish, canned tuna also provides more health benefits beyond vitamin D. It can be a great source of niacin and vitamin K. Unfortunately, canned tuna contains methylmercury, a toxin found in many types of fish. If it builds up in your body, it can cause serious health problems. If you’re worried about this, purchase light tuna instead of white tuna, which is considered safer. 

Egg Yolks

If you aren’t a fan of fish, you will be happy to learn that there are other foods you can eat that provide vitamin D! Whole eggs, while also being wonderfully nutritious, are a great source of vitamin D. Most of the protein is found in the white of the egg while the fat, vitamins, and minerals are mostly found in the yolk. 

One typical egg yolk contains 37 IU of vitamin D or 5% of the DV. Vitamin D levels in egg yolk depend on sun exposure and the vitamin D content of the chicken feed. When given the same feed, pasture-raised chickens that roam outside in the sunlight produce eggs with levels 3–4 times higher.


Believe it or not, mushrooms are the only good plant source of vitamin D – outside of fortified foods. This is because mushrooms process UV light much like humans, synthesizing the vitamin when exposed to sunlight. Unlike humans, however, mushrooms produce vitamin D2 while humans and other animals produce vitamin D3. 

Just like with salmon and tuna, it’s important to know where the mushrooms you purchase are coming from. Commercially grown mushrooms are often grown in the dark and contain very little D2. Certain brands are treated with ultraviolet light which helps them produce vitamin D2. 

Did you know Chiropractic care can help treat chronic back pain, sports injuries, and auto accidents?

Get in touch with Dr. Dee at Healing Hands Chiropractic today for an initial consultation!