Vitamin D helps your body use calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth. It may also help protect you against infections and some types of chronic diseases.
Our skin makes vitamin D from the sun. In Canada, we don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight because of the weather and use of sunscreen for skin safety.
To get enough vitamin D:
- choose foods that contain natural and/or added vitamin D
- drink 2 cups (500mL) of milk or fortified soy beverage every day if you are 2 years of age or older
- take a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU or 10 mcg if you are over 50 years of age
Although liver, fish liver oil and other liver products contain vitamin D, they are also very high in a type of vitamin A that may lead to birth defects. If you are pregnant, avoid liver, fish liver oil and other liver products.
Your Daily Vitamin D Needs
2-70 years = 600 IU (15 mcg)
70+ years = 800 IU (20 mcg)
Sources of Vitamin D
Excellent Sources of Vitamin D (at least 30 mg of vitamin D or 25% DV per serving)
|Food Sources||Serving Size||International Units (IU) of Vitamin D||% Daily Value (DV)|
|Sockeye salmon, canned||75 g||630||315|
|Rainbow trout, baked||75 g||570||285|
|Pink salmon, canned||75 g||435||220|
|Sockeye or pink salmon, baked||75 g||395||200|
|Arctic char, boiled||75 g||300||150|
|Atlantic herring, baked||75 g||160||80|
|Sardines, canned in tomato sauce||75 g||145||70|
|Evaporated milk, canned, undiluted||125 mL||105||50|
|Milk – homo, 2%, 1%, skim||250 mL||105||50|
|Milk powder||24 g||105||50|
|Soy beverage, fortified with vitamin D||250 mL||85||40|
|Almond or rice beverage, fortified with vitamin D||250 mL||85||40|
|Atlantic mackerel, baked||75 g||80||40|
|Egg yolks, cooked||2||65||30|
|Yogurt, fortified with vitamin D||175 mL||65||30|
|Orange juice, fortified with vitamin D||125 mL||50||25|
|Anchovies, canned with oil||75 g||50||25|
Health Canada’s Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide provides examples on how you can measure serving sizes.