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Food Sources of Vitamin D – How to keep your Vitamin D levels up in winter.
Also known as the Sunshine Vitamin, Vitamin D is one thing we miss out on during the cold, dark days of winter. So, what can you do? Besides supplementing* regularly with Vitamin D, why not make it super delicious and add in foods that are high in Vitamin D?
* Make sure to check with your doctor, nutritionist, or pharmacists, before supplementing with Vitamin D.
Food Sources of Vitamin D
Let’s have a look at food sources of vitamin D along with a couple of recipes to get you started in your weekly menu.
Animal Sources of Vitamin D
The top foods which provide naturally occurring vitamin D are normally found in animal products such as oily fish, dairy products and eggs. Here are some examples:
- Fish liver oils
Plant-based Sources of Vitamin D
There are not so many vegan or plant-based sources of Vitamin D, so when eating a plant-based diet it is important to be conscious of where you get your Vitamin D from.
Fortified products – check the labels
- Breakfast cereals
- Plant-based milk
- Nutritional powders
- Mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight or UV light (check labels)
Vitamin D Meal & Snack Ideas
As always, check the product labels to see how much vitamin D you can expect in each serving. Also make sure you incorporate these meals into an overall healthy and balanced diet.
Vitamin D Breakfast Ideas
- Fortified bran flakes with semi-skimmed milk and some fruit
- Yoghurt with fruit and nuts
- Smoked salmon on toast with avocado slices and a bit of onion
- Egg on toast with beans and a sprinkle of cheese
Vitamin D Snack Ideas
- Cottage cheese with fruit and nuts
- Vitamin D enriched mushrooms – sautéed in butter, spread on a toast or cracker
Vitamin D Lunch Ideas
- Leafy green Caesar salad with avocado slices and sardines
- Buddha Bowl – sliced boiled egg (or fatty fish), avocado, broccoli tops, sweet potato chunks on top of quinoa
- Stir fried rice with lots of vegetables and a scrambled egg
- Egg salad sandwich on fortified toast, with a side salad of leafy greens
Vitamin D Dinner Ideas
- Grilled Mackerel with steamed broccoli, baked potato, and some low-fat cheese
- Cooked salmon added to pasta with a creamy, dairy-based sauce along with string beans or other green vegetable
- Vitamin D enriched mushrooms cooked into a brown rice risotto with a sprinkle of cheese on top
- Poke Bowl – salmon chunks on rice with seaweed, shredded raw radish, and carrot slices. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
Vitamin D Recipes
Buddha Bowl – 1 serving
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 avocado sliced
1 boiled egg or 120g of salmon, cooked
3 small broccoli tops, cooked
1/2 sweet potato, cut into chunks, cooked
Sesame seeds, to taste
Your favourite dressing
- Prepare your ingredients (clean, chop, cook)
- Place the quinoa at the bottom of the bowl and spread out
- Add in each ingredient one at a time next to each other, so you can see each ingredient and its colours.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Gently pour your dressing on top, being careful to not over do the dressing.
Pasta Tagliatelle with Salmon – 2 servings
Pasta & Salmon
2 pieces of salmon (about 200g)
160g Tagliatelle pasta, whole grain or gluten-free
125ml of pasta water
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, minced
125ml dry white wine (or vegetable stock)
300ml coconut milk
½ tsp flour of choice
½ small lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook your pasta as directed on pack. Save 125ml of the pasta water before draining.
- Warm some olive oil in a pan, add the salmon filets and season with salt, pepper and paprika.
- Cook for 3 minutes on each side, remove from the pan, and set aside.
- In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil then the flour and garlic. Stir gently.
- After a minute add the coconut milk, white wine or broth and continue to stir until all the lumps are gone.
- Simmer and cook on low for about 3 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Flake the salmon into smaller bite sized pieces and add to the sauce along with 80ml of the reserved pasta water and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add in the tagliatelle, tossing with tongs. If the sauce is too sticky, add a bit more of the pasta water.
- Serve and enjoy!
Avocado and Egg on Toast – 2 servings
2 eggs, sliced in half
2 pieces of whole grain toast
½ avocado, sliced
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Olive oil, to drizzle
Salt, pepper and paprika, to taste
- Prep your ingredients.
- Toast your bread.
- Make two plates:
- On each plate, place 1 piece of toast.
- On top, place 1 egg.
- Avocado slices come next.
- Sprinkle half the pumpkin seeds on one plate and half on the other.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of paprika.
- Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
Fun Facts about Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it exists in certain fats and gets absorbed best when eaten with fats e.g., a meal of salmon (contains vitamin D) along with some avocado (beneficial fat).
Vitamin D contributes to the normal function of the immune system. Especially helpful during the winter months.
Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal teeth. Definitely helpful for chewing delicious food and having a great, lovely smile to share with others!
5. How to add more Vitamin D to your everyday lifestyle!
The key here is to build a habit of adding in vitamin D sources regularly.
The number one way to get your vitamin D is to be outside with the sun shining on your skin – without sun protection on. Don’t let yourself burn, but allow the sun to kiss your skin. Perhaps consider going for a walk every day, outside in the fresh air allowing the sun to touch your skin. Walking and being outside has more benefits than just vitamin D.
Eat Vitamin D Foods
The delicious way to obtain vitamin D is via the foods we eat. Try an incorporate a vitamin D food or fortified food into your diet 1-2 times a day.
With supplementation, connect with your health care professional to see how much, how often and which vitamin D supplement is right for you.
For more information about vitamins and minerals, have a look at the Food Facts for Healthy Choices website or The British Nutrition Foundation website.
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