Which food has vitamin D? Discover the best sources

Essential for the correct functioning of the body, vitamin D is present in different foods, mainly of animal origin. Therefore, it is not difficult to meet daily needs.

A healthy adult needs to consume, on average, 15mcg per day of vitamin D, while elderly people need 20mcg.

Then follow below which foods are able to provide the nutrient and also solve the main doubts on this subject.


Which food has vitamin D?

Vitamin D, also called calciferol, can be found in foods such as: meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese and mushrooms. Despite the care with food, it is worth remembering that most of the nutrient, about 90% of all vitamin D, is acquired by exposure to the sun. Therefore, food must be allies.

These products are, in general, of animal origin. Therefore, people with dietary restrictions, allergies or vegetarians and vegans, should be aware of sun exposure and the need for supplementation.

Because, thinking that you cannot supply the proper dosages of the nutrient in the diet or do not consume these food groups, there are vitamin D supplements that can be integrated into the dietary routine.

And there are options for vegans too.

Do leaves and fruits have vitamin D?

No . Despite being present in mushrooms, vitamin D is not present in other foods, as in the case of leaves and fruits.

This is because these foods, such as fruits, leaves, vegetables and legumes do not store vitamin D from sunlight as well as animal products.

What is the main source?

The main source of vitamin D is sun exposure . It corresponds to about 80% to 90% of all absorption of the nutrient by the body. And 15 or 20 minutes a day is enough. But, there is a part that comes from food as well.

Check out the main dietary sources of vitamin D below:


Marine foods have large amounts of vitamin D and, therefore, can be considered one of the main sources of this nutrient. Oily fish like salmon, tuna, salmon, herring and sardines are good examples.

They are responsible for providing good amounts of calciferol (the active substance in vitamin D).

See some examples and the amounts of vitamin D they have in 100g:

  • Salmon: 12.5 mcg;
  • Herring: 23.57 mcg;
  • Sardines: 6.8 mcg;
  • Tuna: 6.7 mcg.


Those mushrooms used in cooking, such as shimeji, shitake, champignon, portobello and funghi, can also be considered one of the main sources of vitamin D.

This is because, in a very similar way to what happens on our skin, the mushroom exposed to sunlight is capable of transforming ultraviolet light into vitamin D.

Some varieties of mushrooms can contain up to 6.8 mcg of vitamin D, every three servings.

Milk and eggs

Dairy products along with eggs also have large amounts of this vitamin. Only the boiled egg can have about 1.3 mcg of calciferol in 100g.

Milk, in general, can contain 2 mcg in about 200mL.

In addition to assisting calcium in building and maintaining bone mass, they can also help in strengthening bones and muscles.


Both bovine liver and chicken liver are rich in vitamin D. In a portion of approximately 100g, bovine liver and chicken liver have 0.4 mcg and 1.31 mcg of vitamin D, respectively.

As a good source of vitamin D, the liver is an effective food for improving the immune system.

What are the normal levels of vitamin D?

Normal levels of vitamin D are from 20 ng / mL (nanogram per milliliter) to 30 ng / mL. But these values ​​can still change depending on the person’s condition. Elderly, pregnant women and patients with rickets, osteoporosis , inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, should be between 30 ng / mL and 60 ng / mL.

Thus, it is important to be aware of the amount of vitamin D in the body because, if the dosage is low, the health risks increase.

For example, a person between 10 ng / mL and 20 ng / mL may suffer from loss of bone mass and, consequently, the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

If it is less than this number, then the patient has a greater chance of progressing to osteomalacia (bone mineralization) and also rickets.

What to do to get vitamin D?

Vitamin D must be acquired through diet and exposure to the sun, and can be reinforced by supplementation. Therefore, placing the nutrient source foods in the routine and doing small sunbaths, from 15 to 20 minutes, in general, are sufficient.

For these moments, the sunscreen should be suspended or applied only to the face, leaving hands and arms directly exposed. This is because the use of the protector interferes with the light absorption and the synthesis of the vitamin.

The ideal is to avoid the times when the sun is strong and take the opportunity to go before 10 am or after 4 pm.

When deficiencies are detected, supplements can help. Remembering that they should only be used when advised by a doctor or / and a nutritionist.

Due to low exposure to the sun, vitamin D deficiency has become common, and this can increase the risk of problems such as infertility, bone weakness, cancer and heart problems.

So, it is important to take that hour of the day to sunbathe, in addition to maintaining healthy eating habits.