The problem: Vitamin D isn’t found in many foods
About 10 to 15 minutes of sun on the arms and legs a few times a week can generate nearly all the vitamin D we need. That’s because the vital bone-strengthening vitamin (here are 23 health benefits of vitamin D) is the only one that your body can make itself. “But with desk jobs and increased sunscreen use, sometimes it’s not possible to get enough sun exposure to get your vitamin D,” says Wesley McWhorter, RD, chef and dietitian at UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston. While there aren’t many rich food sources of this vitamin, the following will ensure you’re getting your fill. And you can figure out if you’re falling short by watching for these 9 signs your body might not be getting enough vitamin D.
Fatty fish (like salmon, halibut, cod, and tuna) is one of the best food sources of vitamin D, says McWhorter. A 3-ounce fillet delivers around 154 to 566 International Units (IU), which can help you reach the 600 IU that experts recommend most adults eat daily.
Eggs are also a source of vitamin D, especially the yolks—in fact, all of the vitamin D in an egg is found in the yolk. “But definitely eat the whole egg, because you get so many other nutrients from eggs,” says McWhorter. One large egg contains roughly 40 IU of vitamin D. Wondering whether your numbers are adding up? Here are the signs you should get your vitamin D levels checked by a professional.