It is a well-established fact that a nutritious and balanced diet plays a huge role in maintaining one’s health. As such, one of the common reasons for the growing prevalence of chronic diseases and obesity is lack of nutrition and poor eating habits, say experts.

“Our immune system requires essential vitamins and minerals to function properly and guard the body against illnesses and immunodeficiency problems,” said Tanvee Tutlani, celebrity nutritionist, dietitian and corporate health educator, adding that vitamin D is one such important micronutrient required for optimal body functioning, normal immune functioning, and growth and development of bones and teeth.

“Deficiency of vitamin D has been associated with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, weight gain, autoimmune disorders, neuromuscular diseases, flu, osteoporosis, cancer, etc. Since vitamin D is produced naturally in the skin in response to sunlight, it is also known as ‘sunshine vitamin’. However, certain foods can help to ensure an adequate level of fat-soluble vitamin D in the body,” she told indianexpress.com.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are one of the most potent non-animal sources of vitamin D2, D3, and D4. Like humans, mushrooms tend to synthesise vitamin D when they are exposed to the ultraviolet light of the sun. Include mushrooms in your diet at least four times a week to fulfil the body’s vitamin D requirement.

Cow’s milk

Pasteurised cow’s milk usually contains vitamin D. However, the amount can vary from brand to brand. Most milk manufacturers add the micronutrient during milk processing voluntarily to make the product more nutritious. While milk does not have vitamin D naturally, it is loaded with calcium. Thus, the two nutrients work well together to strengthen bones with better calcium absorption. Drinking a glass of pasteurised milk every day can help prevent bone-related disorders and keep the body healthy.

Cheese

One of the most relished food items around the world, cheese contains a decent amount of vitamin D. Out of all kinds, ricotta and cheddar are the most rich sources. However, cheese is also packed with fats so make sure to have the food item in small amounts to maintain an optimal balance of nutrients. You can also opt for a reduced-fat version of cheese to reap maximum health benefits.

Ricotta, and cheddar cheese are the most rich sources of vitamin D. (Photo: Pixabay)

Fortified yoghurt

Yoghurt is an easy and convenient snack that is not only great for gut health but also for the bones. Consuming fortified yoghurt can help to fulfill approximately 10-20% daily requirement of vitamin D. However, many yoghurt varieties contain high amounts of sugar, so check the nutrition label carefully.

Butter

Butter is not only packed with antioxidants, minerals, fatty acids, and zinc, but also vitamin D. One tablespoon of butter can fulfil approx. 11% of the daily intake of vitamin D. If you suffer from heart disorders, refrain from consuming butter.

Cereal and Oatmeal

Many cereal and oatmeal brands add vitamin D in their product. A bowl of heavily fortified cereal can help in preventing vitamin D deficiency and fulfil the fibre requirements of the body as well.

Eggs

Eggs are considered the best source of vitamin D. Eating two eggs every day can fulfil 82 per cent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin D. Make sure to eat the whole egg and not just the whites to keep up the vitamin D levels in the body. Since eggs are also rich in immune-boosting nutrients such as proteins, zinc, selenium, they boost immunity levels and keep the heart healthy.

Eggs are rich in immune-boosting nutrients such as proteins, zinc and selenium. (Photo: Pexels)

Salmon

One of the popular fatty fish, salmon is a great source of vitamin D and other important nutrients beneficial for bones and muscles. A 100 g serving of salmon fulfils around 66 per cent of the daily requirement of vitamin D.

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