Happy National Nutrition Month! Vitamin D

Series on Fat Soluble Vitamins – Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which is in some foods, through sun exposure, and available as a dietary supplement.  This vitamin works with calcium and phosphorus which promotes absorption in the body.  Along with helping to reduce inflammation and work with cell growth, neuromuscular, immune function, and glucose metabolism.  Vitamin D helps bring calcium and phosphorus to our bones and teeth, regulates how much calcium stays in our blood, and protects against bone mass loss. 

This fat soluble vitamin is needed for bone growth and remodeling (osteoblasts and osteoclasts), to prevent rickets in children, to prevent osteomalacia in adults, and to prevent involuntary contraction of muscles.  

There are two forms of vitamin D which are absorbed in the small intestine.  In order to be digested well, having the presence of fat in the gut really helps.  

Another way to gain vitamin D is sun exposure.  This penetrates uncovered skin and provides vitamin D.  Many factors affect UV radiation exposure and vitamin D synthese.  These include season, time of day, length of day, cloud cover, smog, skin melanin content, and sunscreen.1-2

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has a great article that researches Vitamin D and Health, click here

  • Bone health and muscle strength
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Immune function
  • Risk of premature death3

Good food sources:

Flesh of fatty fish (trout, salmon, tuna, mackerel) – best source

Fish liver oils – best source

Beef liver – small amounts

Cheese – small amounts

Egg yolks – small amounts

Mushrooms – variable amounts

Fortified foods such as milk and plant based milk (meaning nutrients added in)1-2


Linked recipes from Eating Well packed full of Vitamin D!

  • Ricotta and Yogurt Parfait
  • Superfood Chopped Salad with Salmon & Creamy Garlic Dressing
  • Spinach-Mushroom Frittata with Avocado Salad
  • Salmon Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
  • “Egg in a Hole” Peppers with Avocado Salsa
  • Sweet Beet-Raspberry Yogurt
  • Walnut-Rosemary Crusted Salmon
  • Chickpeas with Garlicky Yogurt & Toasted Pita
  • No Bake Berry Cheesecake Bars
  • Honey Mustard Salmon with Mango Quinoa
  • Salmon & Asparagus with Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce
  • Polenta Bowls with Roasted Vegetables & Fried Eggs
  • And More4


  1. “Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin D.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2 Mar. 2018, ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/. 
  2. Klemm, Sarah. “What Is Vitamin D.” EatRight, 7 Dec. 2020, http://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/types-of-vitamins-and-nutrients/what-is-vitamin-d. 
  3. “Vitamin D.” The Nutrition Source, 0 Mar. 2020, http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/. 
  4. “Recipes to Get More Vitamin D.” EatingWell, 27 Aug. 2019, http://www.eatingwell.com/gallery/12814/recipes-to-get-more-vitamin-d/. 

Photo Credit

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Photo by Pavel Subbotin on Unsplash

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

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