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5 Ways To Get Your Vitamin D (Besides the Sun)

RDN Mia Syn offers her top tips for getting enough vitamin D.

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It may be summer but that doesn’t mean we are in the clear when it comes to the sunshine vitamin. Some studies suggest that more than 40% of Americans are deficient due to spending less time outdoors and the fact that vitamin D is only found in a handful of foods naturally that many of us don’t eat enough like trout and swordfish. Vitamin D is vital for calcium absorption, bone health and keeping the immune system strong. Here are five ways to get your vitamin D this summer — besides the sun.

Start your day with a punch of protein

Eggs are one of the most affordable, complete protein sources and incredibly nutrient dense. For 70 calories, eggs contain six grams of complete protein and precious nutrients like choline, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. Enjoy them scrambled with some diced veggies or sunny side up over avocado toast. Starting your day with protein helps stabilize blood sugars and will help keep you full until lunchtime.

Choose your vitamin D supplements wisely

When choosing a vitamin D supplement, opt for Vitamin D3 or Cholecalciferol, the most bioavailable form. Nutri-Rich is a purveyor of high quality and responsibly sourced vitamins and supplements including vitamin D3. Because of their evidence-based approach and transparency in their manufacturing process and ingredient sourcing, I feel comfortable recommending them to my clients.

Get your two servings of seafood per week

Getting your two servings of seafood per week is one way to increase your vitamin D intake. Given that vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, fatty fish like salmon, trout, and swordfish are among the best sources. In fact, three ounces of canned sockeye salmon exceeds your daily vitamin D needs according to the USDA Food Database. Add canned salmon for staying power to your summery salads or prepare cedar-planked trout at your next backyard barbecue.

Serve up Portobello mushroom burgers this Fourth of July

Mushrooms are one of the only reported plant-based foods to naturally contain vitamin D. However, not all mushrooms are the same when it comes to the amounts they contain. For example, half a cup of grilled portabella mushrooms exposed to UV light can meet about 50% of your daily vitamin D needs according to the USDA Food Database. Marinade and grill them whole this Fourth of July and make juicy Portobello burgers.

Add fortified orange juice to your grilling marinades

Given that vitamin D is found naturally in so few foods, fortification has become mainstream. Everything from orange juice to milk and yogurts to cereals may contain added vitamin D. As a dietitian I mostly encourage getting your nutrition from naturally occurring, whole food sources but for vegans and vegetarians or those with dietary restrictions, fortified foods are an important mainstay in the diet. Enjoy summer yogurt bowls with seasonal fruit like berries and melon or add fortified orange juice to your grilling marinades for some summery sweetness.

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Mia Syn is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), host of Good Food Friday on ABC News 4 and national on-air nutrition expert. As one of the most recognized and trusted young dietitians in the media, her content serves as a healthy lifestyle resource for millions of television viewers and readers around the globe. Check out her site at