12 Foods That Are Good Sources of Vitamin D (2024)

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for health. Along with vitamins A, E, and K, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means the digestive tract absorbs the vitamin with dietary fats to send into the bloodstream. From there, vitamin D is stored in the liver and fatty tissues for later use.

This key nutrient supports your nerve, muscle, and immune systems and helps absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks of bone.

You can get vitamin D through sun exposure, food, and supplements. For your body to naturally produce enough vitamin D from the sun, researchers suggest you need about five to 30 minutes of skin exposure to sunlight without sunscreen daily or at least twice a week. However, sun exposure without sunscreen leads to skin aging and increases skin cancer risk.

Some foods naturally provide vitamin D while others are fortified, which means the nutrient has been added. You can also take a vitamin D supplement, although it is possible to consume too much. Talk to your healthcare provider if you're concerned about your vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D is measured in international units (IU) which reflects the potency, or effect, of the vitamin. The amount of vitamin D you need depends on your age and your risk for vitamin D deficiency.

From childhood through late adulthood, most people need about 600 IU of vitamin D per day. This amount also applies to people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Infants younger than one year need 400 IU of vitamin D per day. Adults older than 70 years should aim to get 800 IU per day.

People at high risk of vitamin D deficiency may need to consume higher levels.This includes:

  • Breastfed infants: Since human milk is a poor source of vitamin D, breastfed and partially breastfed infants should receive a daily 400 IU supplement.
  • Older adults: As you get older, your skin doesn't produce as much vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.
  • People with dark skin: Dark skin is less able to produce vitamin D from the sun.
  • People with digestive disorders: Conditions like Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease make it more difficult to absorb nutrients from food, including vitamin D.
  • People who have obesity: People with high levels of body fat are more likely to have vitamin D deficiency, although the exact relationship is still unknown.
  • People who have had gastric bypass surgery: This weight loss procedure bypasses (creates a new route around) a part of the small intestine where vitamin D is absorbed, making it more difficult for the body to absorb the vitamin.
  • People with chronic kidney or liver disease: These conditions can affect your body’s ability to convert vitamin D into a form your cells can use.
  • People who take medicines that affect vitamin D levels: These include certain cholesterol, anti-seizure, steroid, and weight-loss drugs.

Talk with your healthcare provider if you are at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency. They can perform ablood testto measure how much vitamin D is in your body. If your blood level is low, your healthcare provider can determine if you need a supplement as well as the proper dosage and length of use.

While uncommon, it is possible to take too much vitamin D with supplements. An excess amount of vitamin D can cause high levels of calcium in the blood, which can damage your organs and blood vessels.

Foods That Are High in Vitamin D

You can obtain vitamin D naturally from several animal-based foods and a limited amount of plant-based foods. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and other whole plant foods do not provide vitamin D.

The Daily Value (DV) for vitamin D on food labels is 20 micrograms (mcg) or 800 IU for adults and children aged 4 years and older. The percentage of vitamin D you see on a food label is based on this value.

Daily Value

You may notice every food product has a nutrition label stating the amount of calories, fats, and other nutrients per serving. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) selects a value for each nutrient based on the needs of the general population.

These are referred to as Daily Values and are listed as percentages in the right column of food labels. The percentages can help shoppers determine how much of a certain nutrient one serving of a food provides compared to the suggested daily intake.


Fatty fish are good sources of vitamin D. The amount may vary based on the animal's diet.


One three-ounce portion of wild rainbow trout, steamed, provides 60% of the Daily Value of vitamin D, or 12.06 mcg.

This portion also includes:

  • Calories: 106.8
  • Fat: 4.68 g
  • Protein: 15.12 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Vitamin B12: 2.97 mcg, 111% of the DV
  • Potassium: 285.6 mg, 6% of the DV
  • Selenium: 17.88 mcg, 32.5% of the DV


One three-ounce portion of wild coho salmon cooked with dry heat provides 48% of the Daily Value of vitamin D, or 383 IU.

This portion also includes:

  • Calories: 118
  • Fat: 3.66 grams (g)
  • Protein: 19.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 gr
  • Vitamin B12: 4.25 mcg, 177% of the DV
  • Potassium: 369 mg, 7.8% of the DV
  • Selenium: 32.3 mcg, 58% of the DV


One 3.75 ounce can of Atlantic sardines, canned in oil and drained provides 22% of the Daily Value of vitamin D, or 178 IU.

This portion also includes:

  • Calories: 191
  • Fat: 10.5 g
  • Protein: 22.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Vitamin B12:mcg, % of the DV
  • Calcium: 351 mg, 27% of the DV
  • Selenium: 48.5 mcg, 88% of the DV


One three-ounce portion of skipjack tuna, cooked with dry heat provides 5% of the Daily Value of vitamin D, or 40 IU.

This portion also includes:

  • Calories: 73.1
  • Fat: 0.816 g
  • Protein: 16.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Vitamin B12: 2.17 mcg, 90% of the DV
  • Potassium: 152 mg, 3% of the DV
  • Selenium: 60 mcg, 109% of the DV


One cup of cooked shiitake mushrooms provides 5% of the Daily Value of vitamin D, or 40.6 IU.

This portion also includes:

  • Calories: 81.2
  • Fat: 0.319 g
  • Protein: 2.26 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.9 g
  • Fiber: 3.04 g
  • Zinc: 1.93 mg, 17.5% of the DV
  • Copper: 1.3 mg, 144% of the DV
  • Selenium: 36 mcg, 65.4% of the DV

Sun-exposed mushrooms provide even more vitamin D. When commonly consumed mushrooms are exposed to a source of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, such as sunlight or a UV lamp, their vitamin D content increases.

The vitamin D content in UV-exposed mushrooms may decrease with storage and cooking. Researchers recommend consuming the mushrooms before the ‘best-before’ date to get a vitamin D level above 10 mcg per 100 g. This level is higher than most vitamin D-containing foods and similar to the daily requirement.

For example, one brand of UV-exposed mushrooms called Monterey Mushrooms provides 100% of the DV for vitamin D per 10 mushrooms.


Milk products, including dairy milk and plant-based milks, are often fortified with vitamin D. However, the level of fortification varies from product to product.

Almost all U.S. dairy milks are fortified with vitamin D, but some plant milks are not fortified. When purchasing a milk product, be sure to check the nutrition label for its Daily Value per serving.

Dairy Milk

One cup of whole (3.25%) dairy milk may provide 15.5% of the Daily Value of vitamin D, or 124 IU.

This portion also includes:

  • Calories: 149
  • Fat: 7.93 g
  • Protein: 7.69 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.7 g
  • Vitamin A: 112 mcg, 12.4% of the DV
  • Calcium: 276 mg, 21.2% of the DV
  • Potassium: 322 mg, 6.8% of the DV

Soy Milk

Eight ounces of original soy milk may provide 15% of the Daily Value of vitamin D, or 120 IU.

This portion also includes:

  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 4.5 g
  • Protein: 7.99 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Fiber: 1.92 g
  • Vitamin A: 499 mcg, 55% of the DV
  • Calcium: 451 mg, 34.7% of the DV
  • Potassium: 379 mg, 8% of the DV

Almond Milk

Eight ounces of unsweetened almond milk may provide 24.9% of the Daily Value of vitamin D, or 199 IU.

This portion also includes:

  • Calories: 28.8
  • Fat: 2.5 g
  • Protein: 1.01 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.01 g
  • Calcium: 451 mg, 34.7% of the DV
  • Vitamin E: 7.2 mg, 48% of the DV
  • Potassium: 161 mg, 3.4% of the DV

Oat Milk

Eight ounces of unsweetened oat milk may provide 19.5% of the Daily Value of vitamin D, or 156.4 IU.

This portion also includes:

  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 6.325 g
  • Protein: 1.84 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.73 g
  • Calcium: 340 mg, 26% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 204.7 mg, 16.4% of the DV
  • Potassium: 340 mg, 7.2% of the DV

Cereal Fortified with Vitamin D

Like milk, some cereals are fortified with vitamin D and others are not. If you’re counting on cereal as a source of vitamin D, be sure to check each product’s label for the Daily Value per serving.

One cup of Cheerios provides 5% of the Daily Value of vitamin D, or 40 IU.

This portion also includes:

  • Calories: 104
  • Fat: 1.85 g
  • Protein: 3.47 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.5 g
  • Fiber: 2.83 g
  • Calcium: 100 mg, 7.7% of the DV
  • Iron: 8.09 mg, 45% of the DV
  • Zinc: 3.75 mg, 34% of the DV

Cod Liver Oil

One tablespoon of cod liver oil provides 170% of the Daily Value of vitamin D, or 1,360 IU.

This portion also includes:

  • Calories: 124
  • Fat: 13.6 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Vitamin A: 4,080 mcg, 453% of the DV


Vitamin D is found in the egg yolk. One large whole hard-boiled egg provides 5.4% of the Daily Value of vitamin D, or 43.5 IU.

This portion also includes:

  • Calories: 77.5
  • Fat: 5.3 g
  • Protein: 6.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.56 g
  • Vitamin B12: 0.555 mcg, 23% of the DV
  • Selenium: 15.4 mcg, 28% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 74.5 mcg, 8.3% of the DV

Vitamin D supports bone density and vital systems in the body, including immune function. Most people need about 600 IU of vitamin D per day, although this amount may vary based on age.

You can get vitamin D through sun exposure, food, or a supplement. Foods like fish, mushrooms, and fortified milks are good sources of vitamin D.

Certain groups are at a higher risk for vitamin D deficiency, including breastfed infants, older adults, and people with digestive disorders. Talk with your healthcare provider about your vitamin D levels and if supplementation is right for you.

12 Foods That Are Good Sources of Vitamin D (2024)


What foods give you enough vitamin D? ›

The best food sources of vitamin D are oily fish, including salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Other sources include egg yolks, red meat, and liver. Vitamin D is added to some foods too, including breakfast cereals, plant milks and fat spreads. Check information on-pack to see if this applies to the products you buy.

What are the best whole food sources of vitamin D? ›

You can increase your vitamin D levels by getting sun exposure or eating foods rich in vitamin D, including fatty fish, egg yolks, and vitamin D-fortified milk and grains. In some cases of deficiency, a doctor may recommend vitamin D supplements.

How can I raise my vitamin D levels quickly? ›

Here are three ways to increase your intake:
  1. Eat foods high in vitamin D, like fish or fortified breakfast foods (milk, cereals and orange juice).
  2. Get vitamin D from moderate sunlight exposure each day.
  3. Take a vitamin D3 supplement or cod liver oil.
Jul 19, 2022

What are the top 10 vitamin D foods? ›

Which foods are high in vitamin D?
  • Fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, and tuna.
  • Beef liver.
  • Egg yolks.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Cod liver oil.
  • Cow's milk and yogurt (fortified)
  • Plant-based beverages, such as almond, soy, or oat milk (fortified)
  • Orange juice (fortified)
Apr 17, 2024

Which vegetable is good for vitamin D? ›

Spinach. Cooked spinach can provide around 20% of the daily vitamin D requirements, while also being rich in calcium. You can add a healthy amount of spinach in your diet to ensure that you're getting enough vitamin D through natural means.

How many eggs for vitamin D? ›

Do Eggs Have Vitamin D? A serving of two eggs contains 8.2µg of vitamin D which is 82% of the recommended dietary intake. Eggs are one of the highest food sources of vitamin D.

How do you feel when your vitamin D is extremely low? ›

Symptoms when vitamin D is low

Most people with vitamin D deficiency are asymptomatic. However, if you're exhausted, your bones hurt, you have muscle weakness or mood changes, that's an indication that something may be abnormal with your body.

How do you get 100% vitamin D? ›

  1. Spend time in sunlight. Vitamin D is often referred to as “the sunshine vitamin” because the sun is one of the best sources of this nutrient. ...
  2. Consume fatty fish and seafood. ...
  3. Eat more mushrooms. ...
  4. Include egg yolks in your diet. ...
  5. Eat fortified foods. ...
  6. Take a supplement. ...
  7. Try a UV lamp.
Mar 18, 2019

What blocks vitamin D absorption? ›

Cystic fibrosis, Crohn's disease and celiac disease: These conditions can prevent your intestines from adequately absorbing enough vitamin D through supplements, especially if the condition is untreated. Obesity: A body mass index greater than 30 is associated with lower vitamin D levels.

How long does it take to become vitamin D sufficient? ›

However, it generally takes about 6-8 weeks of supplementation for your vitamin D levels to go back into the normal range. Even after your Vitamin D levels get normal, your doctor may still have you take supplements for a while to make sure your levels don't fall below normal again.

What cereal is fortified with vitamin D? ›

Fortified cereal

Some popular cereals such as Quaker's Oats, Kellogg's Special K and Multi Grain Cheerios are fortified with vitamin D. Enjoy a bowl of cereal with fortified soya milk and a glass of orange juice to get half of your recommended allowance of vitamin D all before lunch time.

Are bananas high in vitamin D? ›

Nope, no vitamin D here. But bananas do contain plenty of magnesium. And guess what? Among the many reasons you need magnesium is that once your vitamin D is in your bloodstream, the magnesium puts it to work, making magnesium a must-have in order for you to access the many benefits of vitamin D.

What drink is high in vitamin D? ›

5 Drinks You Should Try if You Have Vitamin D Deficiency
  • Orange Juice. Orange juice comes first in the list of drinks rich in Vitamin D along with an array of other nutrients. ...
  • Cow's milk. ...
  • Curd or buttermilk. ...
  • Soy milk. ...
  • Carrot juice.
Mar 26, 2022

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