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6 recipes that are high in vitamin D

September 05, 2019 | Heather Shannon
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We all need vitamin D in our diet.

After all, more than 1 billion people worldwide and more than 42% of Americans are deficient in what’s known as the “sunshine vitamin.”

This is a major health problem because vitamin D is essential for so much:

  • It increases the absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphate, fostering bone development.
  • The liver and kidneys convert it into a hormone that is vital for brain function.
  • It also may play a role in alleviating depression.

Although our bodies generate vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, it’s not safe or practical to spend an entire day in the sunshine — and certainly not without adequate ultraviolet light-blocking sunscreen.

To protect against skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology has long recommended that we instead get our vitamin D from what we eat and drink. 

Incorporating vitamin D-rich foods into your diet is an easy, safe and delicious way to ensure you’re getting enough of this crucial nutrient.

broiled salmon 

Broiled salmon

A 3.5-ounce salmon fillet contains up to 125% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin D. Wild-caught salmon contains more nutrients than farm-raised. Get the recipe ›

lime shrimp kebabs

Lime-grilled shrimp kebabs

Shrimp are low in fat and contain 25% of the RDI of vitamin D. Watch your intake, though: Shrimp is high in cholesterol. Get the recipe › 

zesty swordfish

Zesty grilled swordfish

A 3-ounce serving of swordfish adds 93% of the RDI of vitamin D to your diet. It’s high in cholesterol, too, so enjoy in moderation. Get the recipe ›  

quinoa bowls with egg and avocado

Quinoa, egg and black bean bowls

Most of the protein in an egg is in the white, but fat, minerals and vitamins – including D – are in the yolk. Eggs from chickens raised outside can contain up to four times the RDI. Get the recipe › 

mushrooms and asparagus

Grilled asparagus and shiitake mushrooms

Mushrooms are the only plant-based source of vitamin D, and they are excellent sources of the vitamin. A 3.5-ounce serving of wild mushrooms contains nearly four times the RDI. Mushrooms grown in the dark, however, have significantly less vitamin D. Get the recipe › 

cheese board

Gut-healthy cheese board

Cheese is a delicious way to enjoy more vitamin D, particularly if the cheese has been fortified with it. Enjoy it in moderation, though: Cheese can be high in cholesterol and fat. Get the recipe ›