Vitamin D deficiency occurs primarily due to insufficient exposure to sunlight, which is particularly the case in winter. However, the vitamin, which is extremely important for health, can also be absorbed through the consumption of certain foods in order to counteract a deficiency.
Vitamin D is the umbrella term for a group of fat-soluble vitamins, which are extremely important for many processes in the body and at the same time protect against various diseases. The human body produces a large part of it (up to 90 percent) in the epidermal cells of the skin, for which it needs the light of the sun.
Obtain vitamin D through your diet
However, vitamin D can also be obtained through diet. For example, it is possible to absorb vitamin D2 by consuming certain plant foods, while various animal foods contain higher amounts of vitamin D3.
Vitamin D can also be obtained from fatty fish such as eel, herring, salmon, tuna and mackerel. 100 grams of salmon already contain 16 micrograms of vitamin D and 100 grams of herring even contain up to 25 micrograms of vitamin D, reports the German Nutrition Society (DGE).
Wild-caught fish contains more vitamin D
The general rule seems to be that wild-caught fish contains more vitamin D than farmed fish. The results of research show that farmed salmon only contains around 25 percent of the vitamin D content found in wild salmon.
Therefore, when buying and eating fish, you should make sure that it was caught in the wild to ensure that it contains as much vitamin D as possible. Although the values don’t sound really high, most foods contain significantly less vitamin D.
Eggs and dairy products provide lots of vitamin D
Higher amounts of vitamin D can also be absorbed by eating eggs and dairy products are also a good source of vitamin D, although many types of cheese, for example, contain relatively little of the healthy vitamin.
These plant-based foods provide lots of vitamin D
If you want to avoid animal foods, vitamin D can fortunately also be obtained from some plant foods. Plant-based foods that help meet vitamin D needs because they have been fortified with vitamin D include various shiitake mushrooms and button mushrooms.
Although the vitamin D content in such mushrooms is reduced by their storage and cooking process, the enriched mushrooms remain an effective way to supply vitamin D to the body. In a study, researchers report that mushrooms enriched with vitamin D provide more vitamin D than most other foods.
Dark chocolate and cocoa butter provide vitamin D
Products made from cocoa beans, such as chocolate, can also contribute to the supply of vitamin D. In a study on the subject, it was found that the highest levels of vitamin D are present in dark chocolate and cocoa butter.
Food fortified with vitamin D
Furthermore, interestingly, a recent study has shown that it is possible to effectively increase the vitamin D content of foods or ingredients by modifying feed and UV irradiation, which has already been done in beef, pork, poultry, eggs, fish, bread and mushrooms was successfully tested.
According to the researchers, eating such foods can prevent vitamin D status from declining sharply in winter.
Vitamin D intake is particularly important in winter
Taken together, the results make it clear that eating foods high in vitamin D can certainly help prevent vitamin D deficiency and health problems.
Particularly in the winter months, the diet should contain appropriate foods in order to ensure that the body gets a good supply of vitamin D despite the lower exposure to sunlight. (as)