If you don't spend enough time in the sun or if your body has trouble absorbing the vitamin, you may not get enough.
Here are 8 best ways to ensure adequate intake:
The sun is less likely to provide your daily needs at higher latitudes, in the winter, or if you're older or dark skinned (skin pigment blocks light and the process is less efficient with age).
Light through a window won't work.
2. Fatty fish
A 3-ounce sockeye salmon fillet contains about 450 international units (IUs) of vitamin D—a good portion of the 600 IUs that is the Institute of Medicine's recommended dietary allowance (800 IUs if you're over 70).
And you get a bonus—heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids!
3. Certain mushrooms
Mushrooms, however, are usually grown in the dark and don't contain the vitamin. Specific brands, however, are grown in ultraviolet light to spur vitamin D production.
Check to see if vitamin D–rich 'shrooms, like Dole's Portobello Mushrooms, are available at a store near you. They're perfect for vegetarians looking for plant-based foods that contain the vitamin. Dole's portobellos will give you 400 IUs of vitamin D per 3-ounce serving (about 1 cup of diced mushrooms).
4. Fortified milk
In general, an 8-ounce glass of milk contains at least 100 IUs of vitamin D, and a 6-ounce serving of yogurt contains 80 IUs, but the amount can be higher (or lower) depending on how much is added.
Some soy and rice milks are fortified with about the same amount, but check the label since not all contain vitamin D.
5. Orange juice
6. Egg yolks
Since the vitamin D in an egg comes from its yolk, it's important to use the whole egg—not just the whites. One yolk will give you about 40 IUs, but don't try to get your daily vitamin D just from eggs.
One egg contains about 200 milligrams of cholesterol, and consuming more than 300 milligrams a day is not recommended for heart health.
7. Fortified Cereal
A 1-cup (29 gram) serving of Multi Grain Cheerios with one-half cup of fortified milk is 90 IUs; add in an 8-ounce glass of fortified orange juice, and your total is close to 200 IUs. :)
8. Ultraviolet lamps and bulbs
These are similar to tanning beds, but smaller. These lamps carry the same skin-cancer risks and need for protective eyewear, so they're best for those with a doctor's recommendation.
However, You need to know that you can't get the right amount of vitamin D your body needs from food. The most natural way to get vitamin D is by exposing your bare skin to sunlight (ultraviolet B rays).