Mainly produced under the effect of the sun, vitamin D is essential for the proper functioning of our body. However, with the lack of sunshine, the deficiencies are frequent. What if our diet had a role to play? Dr. Pierre Nys, endocrinologist-nutritionist, lists the foods that are richest in vitamin D to replenish energy.
What is Vitamin D for?
Also called “vitamin of the sun”, vitamin D is essentially synthesized under the action of the ultraviolet B (UVB) of the sun captured by our skin. Vitamin D, which is more similar to the action of a hormone, has the main function of facilitating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus at the digestive level. It also helps to fix calcium on the bones.
What are its benefits ? Vitamin D allows an improvement of our general state. It has a bone, cellular, muscular and cardiovascular effect. It boosts the immune system and helps reduce the state of chronic fatigue.
What are the effects of vitamin D deficiency?
According to a report by the French Academy of Medicine (AMF), nearly 80% of the Western population is deficient in vitamin D. Several scientific studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency has visible effects on health: an increased risk of cancer (mainly breast cancer and colorectal cancer), depression, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, complications during pregnancy or falls in the elderly.
Exposure (moderate) to the sun is the best way to avoid deficiencies. Unfortunately, we do not always have the possibility (lack of sunshine, indoor work …). Before supplementing , it is possible to draw vitamin D in the diet.
Vitamin D: how do I know if I’m suffering from deficiency?
One in two French people would be affected by a vitamin D deficiency. Only a blood test can tell you about your vitamin D level and a possible deficit. Deficiency starts when the level is below 30 ng / ml, and moderate to severe vitamin D deficiency if the level is below 20 ng / ml.
10 foods rich in vitamin D
Some of these foods are not fundamentally part of our regular diet, which explains, beyond the lack of sunshine, the frequent deficiency in vitamin D. It is mostly fatty fish and oils.
In France, the daily recommended dietary intakes (ANC) of vitamin D are 5 μg (micrograms) for adults. However, the French Academy of Medicine has recently indicated that the recommended intakes are underestimated and that they would be more around 30 μg per day.
1. Cod liver oil. With 250 μg of vitamin D for 100 g (or 10 cl), it is the champion in any category. If its particular taste disturbs you, it is possible to ingest it in the form of capsules. In general, all fish oils – as well as olive oil – are beneficial. Calf’s liver is also rich in vitamin D.
2. Herring. This cold sea fish is an excellent source of vitamin D: for 100 g, it contains between 13 and 22 μg. This variation is due to the different possible methods of preparation. For a good preservation of the vitamin D content, prefer smoked, grilled or marinated herring.
3. Mackerel. With an average content of 13 μg per 100 g, mackerel – which is rather fried – is a source of vitamin D not to be overlooked.
4. Sardines. They contain about 12 μg of vitamin D per 100 g. Grilled sardines or oil are the most beneficial for a significant intake of vitamin D.
5. Salmon / trout. These two oily fish contain on average 10 μg of vitamin D per 100 g. To keep the maximum vitamin D content, steam is best for salmon and oven for trout.
6. Canned tuna. Its vitamin D content is about 7 μg per 100 g. Raw tuna is just as rich.
7. Dark chocolate. It contains about 5 μg of vitamin D per 100g. For an optimal vitamin D content, choose a dark chocolate composed of at least 40% cocoa.
8. The milk. Essential for its calcium intake, milk is also rich in vitamin D, with 3.70 μg for a glass of 250 ml. The whole cow’s milk is the most beneficial.
9. The eggs. Vitamin D is mainly concentrated in raw egg yolk: 3.25 μg per 100 g.
10. The mushrooms. With 1,18 μg of vitamin D per 100g, cooked mushrooms allow a non-negligible contribution of vitamin D while filling up with minerals and vitamin B.