There are not many foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D is usually found in fortified (or processed) foods that are not part of the Paleo diet such as milk, dairy products and orange juice.
Therefore, it is important to seek out natural sources of vitamin D to boost your intake. Foods naturally rich in vitamin D include the flesh of fatty fish (salmon, herring or sardines), beef liver, eggs, shrimp, oysters and mushrooms (that have been exposed to sunlight) to name a few.
Because there are few foods that naturally contain vitamin D and absorption rates of vitamin D are lower with food sources, you should also make sure you get adequate sunshine each day.
Make sure you always use organic ingredients. No farm raised fish or seafood, always wild caught only. Your meats should be grass-fed, free range and organically free from antibiotics and growth hormones.
Salmon is an oily, fatty fish that is a great source of vitamin D. Always select wild-caught salmon for the most nutrient dense fish there is. Salmon is also a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and protein and is very cardioprotective. Try out this recipe for a delicious and healthy weeknight dinner.
Northern Europeans are big fans of herring and for good reason. Herring is a small fish that is high in vitamin D and packs a nutrient punch full of omega 3 fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals. You can find it raw, canned, smoked or pickled. Herring is easily incorporated into just about any recipe!
Sardines are a small fatty fish staple for many populations around the world. They can be found fresh or canned depending on where you live. There are many nutritional benefits to eating sardines regularly. Sardines are a natural source of heart-healthy nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
Organ meats of any kind are highly nutritious to consume, especially beef liver. Liver is a nutrient dense Paleo superfood. It is rich in protein and packed with essential minerals and vitamins like vitamin D. It provides well over 100% of many of the nutrients recommended by dietary guidelines. We recommend that individuals regularly consume organ meats for better health.
Eggs are a great, natural source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is only found in the yolks of eggs, not the egg white. Another reason to eat the whole egg. Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods there is. They contain an adequate amount of just about every nutrient there is including vitamin D. Try these turmeric eggs for an anti-inflammatory, nutritional boost.
Shrimp is a nutritious type of shellfish that contains a good amount of vitamin D. It also contains many other essential nutrients like protein, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B12 and zinc. Try adding an occasional shrimp dish into your menu rotation for a powerful vitamin D boost.
When mushrooms are exposed to UV rays, they create vitamin D (similar to human production of vitamin D from our skin). Levels of vitamin D will soar in mushrooms if they are placed in sunlight. Find mushrooms that contain adequate levels of vitamin D or grow your own. Throw them into many different kinds of recipes such as these tasty mushroom vegetable burgers.
Oysters are very heart-healthy. They contain an array of essential nutrients to support health such as vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, potassium and quality protein. They have even been shown to raise the “good” HDL cholesterol. Try out this delicious Paleo fried oyster recipe and share it with your family and friends.
Mackerel is a large, oily saltwater fish that is bursting with many essential nutrients. It is a good natural source of vitamin D as well as B vitamins, protein, omega 3 fatty acids and magnesium. It is a heart-healthy fish to consume. Try out this Mediterranean-inspired dish that highlights the unique taste and nutritional profile of this fish.
Ghee is a type of clarified butter that originated in India. It is rich in many of the fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D. Ghee has higher amounts of these fat-soluble vitamins than butter does. Because Ghee is a fat and it contains these types of vitamins, it is easier to absorb the vitamin D. Try this homemade Paleo ghee recipe for the perfect cooking oil for all your meals.
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