What foods are good sources of vitamin D?

Good dietary sources of vitamin D -- eggs, as well as fortified milk and cereal -- while common in young people's diets, are often missing in elderly people's diets. The best natural dietary source of vitamin D is fresh salmon (preferably wild caught), but canned fish, including salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines, are also rich in vitamin D. Dried shitake mushrooms are another great source but are usually not staples of most diets.
Dariush Mozaffarian, MD
Internal Medicine
Here are selected food sources of vitamin D from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference:
  • Salmon, cooked, 3 1/2 ounces
  • Mackerel, cooked, 3 1/2 ounces
  • Tuna fish, canned in oil, drained, 3 ounces
  • Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 1 3/4 ounces
  • Orange juice, fortified, 8 ounces
  • Milk, any fat content, vitamin D-fortified, 1 cup
  • Breakfast cereal, fortified with 10% of the Daily Value (DV), 3/4-cup to 1-cup serving (depending on brand)
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
One way of getting enough vitamin D is through food. Some foods, mainly fish and shellfish, contain vitamin D naturally. Such foods as milk, the major source of vitamin D in food, and most breakfast cereals, contain vitamin D as an additive. These additions, which help prevent rickets (a vitamin D deficiency disease) in children, are synthetic.
Laura Motosko, MSEd, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics

Good sources of vitamin D are found in fortified foods including cows milk, rice milk, soy milk and orange juice.

While vitamin D is naturally present in very few foods, such as fatty fish and mushrooms, many foods are now being fortified with vitamin D, including:

  • Most milks
  • Many brands of orange juice
  • Some yogurt, cheeses, cereals, breads and soy drinks
A registered dietitian can help ensure you are getting an adequate intake of vitamin D and also can help determine if you need dietary supplements to boost your intake.

Vitamin D can be found in fortified milk, fatty fish such as cod, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, in cod-liver oil (this is the highest concentration with up to >300% of your daily value per tablespoon), and eggs. Cereals, breads, and yogurts are sometimes fortified with vitamin D as well. Just check your package labels to find out if your favorites are fortified with D.


Grant Cooper, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Vitamin D is found primarily in foods to which vitamin D has been added ("fortified"). This vitamin is critical for bone health. Milk is usually fortified with vitamin D, but other dairy products such as cheese and ice cream generally are not. Calcium metabolism requires vitamin D, and it is also needed to maintain sufficient phosphorus levels in the blood. Other significant sources of dietary vitamin D include cod liver oil, tuna, salmon, fortified breakfast cereal, and eggs.
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Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Good sources of vitamin D include fish and other kinds of seafood. Fish like herring, catfish, trout and salmon are very high in vitamin D. Oysters and mollusks are also rich in D. Soymilk and tofu can also be a good source of D. But the one thing that’s richest in vitamin D is grandma’s old favorite: cod liver oil!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.