Vitamin D plays a central role in your health. It helps your body absorb and metabolize calcium, which builds strong teeth and bones. While some foods contain vitamin D, humans need sun exposure to produce this vitamin. Those who do not get regular exposure to sunlight have an increased risk for a deficiency of vitamin D, but you can prevent deficiency by consuming vitamin D-rich foods as part of your diet. Aim for a daily intake of 600 international units to meet your body's needs.
Dairy products contain vitamin D, as well as calcium. One cup of 2 percent cow’s milk contains 98 international units of vitamin D, or 16 percent of the recommended daily intake. Yogurts also contain vitamin D. Standard yogurts contain 80 international units of vitamin D, or 13 percent of your recommended daily intake, but the Office of Dietary Supplements notes that some yogurt brands might contain more vitamin D through fortification.
Fish, particularly fatty fish, offer a source of vitamin D. Six ounces of tuna canned in water contain 308 international units of vitamin D -- 51 percent of the recommended daily intake -- while an equivalent serving of swordfish contains 1,132 international units. A 6-ounce portion of canned pink salmon provides 1,060 international units of vitamin D, and 6 ounces of sardines offers 462 international units.
Egg yolks contain vitamin D, and each whole egg contributes 41 international units -- or 7 percent of the recommended daily intake -- toward your daily vitamin D consumption. A 3-ounce portion of beef liver contains 42 international units of vitamin D, and a cup of fortified orange juice provides 137 international units. Some types of cereal and oatmeal also come fortified with vitamin D, and can provide up to 154 international units per serving.
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