Food & Nutrition

10 Ways to Get Vitamin D Without the Sun

From the beginning of October through March, the angle of the sun prevents much of North America from getting vitamin D making vitamin D-rich foods essential during the winter months.

When sunlight is scarce

Sun in blue sky with cloudsumroeng chinnapan/Shutterstock

During the summer, the body can convert sunlight from just ten to 15 minutes of daily exposure into ample amounts of vitamin D. From the beginning of October through March, however, that’s not possible in much of North America, when the angle of the sun sinks lower into the southern hemisphere and daylight becomes more scarce. So you may need to up your consumption of vitamin D-rich foods in the winter (even if you’re spending lots of time outside building snowmen!). The current recommendation is 400-600 IU (international units) per day. Plus, learn some more ways to eat more vitamin D-rich foods.


06-mushrooms-Fruits and Vegetables that Taste Best in the Fall_654540736-Tatiana VolgutovaTatiana Volgutova/Shutterstock

A hundred grams of mushrooms provide some vitamin D, so freely toss them in your food. But for the biggest boost, some growers produce special Portobello mushrooms that have been exposed to a flash of UV light to increase the content of the vitamin. You can even sprinkle on the benefits with Portobello mushroom powder.


Grilled salmon with quinoa salad on brown plate.Artur Begel/Shutterstock

With more than 100 IU per ounce, salmon tops all other foods for naturally occurring vitamin D. Here are some more naturally vitamin-rich foods you should be eating.

Canned salmon

Tinned Salmon on Toast or Toasted Bread Against a Blue BackgroundRichard M Lee/Shutterstock

Six ounces has 323% of your daily need. Toss this on a salad instead of chicken, or try a salmon salad sandwich instead of tuna. Consider this a more cost-effective way of getting in your weekly salmon.

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Healthy Eating – Reader's Digest