Mainly produced under the influence of the sun, vitamin D is essential for the proper functioning of our organism. However, with the lack of sunshine, deficiencies are frequent. What if our diet has a role to play? Dr. Pierre Nys, an endocrinologist-nutritionist, lists the richest vitamin D foods to fill the energy.
What is vitamin D used for?
Also referred to as “The sun’s vitamin”, vitamin D is essentially synthesized by the action of the Sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays captured by our skin. More similar to the action of a hormone, vitamin D has the main function of facilitating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus at the digestive level. It also helps to fix calcium on the bones.
What are its benefits? Vitamin D allows an improvement in our general condition. It has a bony, cellular, muscular and cardiovascular effect. It boosts the immune system and helps to reduce the state of chronic fatigue.
What are the effects of vitamin D deficiency?
According to a report by the Académie de medicine Française (AMF), almost 80% of the western population is deficient in vitamin D. Several scientific studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency has visible health effects: an increased risk of cancer (mainly breast cancer and colorectal cancer), depression, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, Complications during pregnancy or even falls in older people.
Exposure (moderate) to the sun is the best way to avoid deficiencies. Unfortunately, one does not always have the possibility (lack of sunshine, work indoors…). Before supplementing, it is possible to draw vitamin D in the diet.
10 foods rich in vitamin D
Some of these foods are not basically part of our usual diet, which explains, beyond the lack of sunshine, the frequent vitamin D deficiencies. The majority of these are fatty fish and oils.
In France, the daily recommended nutritional intake (ANC) of vitamin D is 5 Μ g (micrograms) for adults. However, the Académie de Medecine Française recently indicated that the recommended intakes were underestimated and that they requirement would be more around 30 Μ g per day.
1. Cod liver oil. With 250 Μ g of vitamin D for 100 g (or 10 cl), it is the champion any category. If its particular taste disturbs you, it is possible to ingest it in the form of capsules. Generally speaking, all fish oils – as well as olive oil – are beneficial. Veal liver is also rich in vitamin D.
2. Herring. This cold-sea fish is an excellent source of vitamin D: for 100 g, it contains between 13 and 22 Μ G. This variation is due to the different methods of preparation possible. For a good conservation of the vitamin D content, prefer smoked, grilled or marinated herring.
3. Mackerel. With an average content of 13 Μ g for 100 g, mackerel – which is rather fried – is a source of vitamin D not to be neglected.
4. Sardines. They contain about 12 Μ g of vitamin D for 100 g. Grilled or oil-fried sardines are the most beneficial for a significant vitamin D intake.
5. Salmon/trout. These two fatty fish contain an average of 10 Μ g of vitamin D for 100 g. To keep the maximum vitamin D content, prefer steaming for salmon and oven for trout.
6. Canned tuna. Its vitamin D content is about 7 Μ g for 100 g. Raw tuna is just as rich.
7. Dark chocolate. It contains about 5 Μ g of vitamin D for 100g. For optimum vitamin D content, choose a dark chocolate consisting of at least 40% cocoa.
8. Milk. Essential for its calcium intake, milk is also rich in vitamin D, with 3.70 Μ g for a 250 ml glass. Whole cow’s milk is the most beneficial.
9. Eggs. Vitamin D is mainly concentrated in raw egg yolk: 3.25 µ g for 100 g.
10. Mushrooms. With 1.18 Μ g of vitamin D for 100g, cooked Paris mushrooms allow a non-negligible intake of vitamin D while refilling with minerals and vitamin B.