• Yasmin Norazharuddin

6 Vitamin D-potent foods for IBS

Living in a 4-seasons kind of country can have its pros and cons. Pros: you get to see how beautiful the seasons change and pumpkin spice latte! Cons: you get less sun exposure during colder days, and that can lead to sickness.

Moreover, in this weird time, you need more vitamin D to reduce your risk of getting infected by covid-19. The average recommended daily dietary intake of vitamin D falls around 10-20 mcg or 400 - 800 IU. Your GP might have already told you to add vitamin D supplements to your daily diet during autumn and winter, but supplements should be kept at 10mcg per serving and the rest should come from food. Since there are not many foods that produce vitamin D naturally, it can be limited, especially for people with IBS. So, what foods for IBS are the best vitamin D sources?


This safe food for IBS worldwide is potent with vitamin D. Concentrated in the egg yolk, the vitamin D content typically can go as high as 8 mcg for 2 large-sized eggs. Of course, brands also play a role because the feeds given to the hens contribute to the vitamin D content too. Some brands feed their hens with fortified feeds that can provide a higher vitamin D content and usually it will mention high in vitamin D on the label or fortified with vitamin D. Nevertheless, your humble Sainsbury or Waitrose egg will do the trick.

Note: Always choose free-range!

Fortified milk

Most milks in the UK and USA are fortified with vitamin D. You can also find a few lactose-free and dairy-free alternatives that are fortified too. You can find out if your country provides vitamin D fortified milk from the public health website.

Fortified firm tofu

If you are a vegetarian or vegan IBS or just have a love for tofu, you are in for a treat. You can find fortified D tofus in supermarkets these days that will help boost up your vitamin D intake.

Do take note that tofu is an IBS trigger to some people. If you notice that you do not tolerate well with IBS, you can switch to firm tofu or consume if small quantities of ¼ cup per serving to start with.

Fortified cereal

Food technology has gone as far as creating fortified cereals in the aisle and to top it all of, some options are IBS friendly too!

Corn flakes are usually fortified with vitamin D as well as a few other brands of rice pops. Sometimes brands don’t mention ‘fortified with vitamin D’ at the front. Check the nutrition label. If vitamin D is included in the label, then the cereal will help boost up your vitamin D intake.

Oyster mushrooms

To all the vegetarians with IBS, rejoice! Well, not entirely. While mushrooms can cause pain and bloat due to the polyols (a type of sugar) to some individuals with IBS, we benefit so much from mushrooms as we basically consume the sun that they have soaked up. A study found that the longer the mushrooms are sunbathing, the higher the vitamin D2 level it contains which is why most wild mushrooms have the most vitamin D2 content. But that is something we have no power of. Nevertheless, mushrooms still have a considerable amount of vitamin D and all is not lost to our IBS vegetarians and vegans as oyster mushrooms have the least amount of polyols according to a study from Monash University. You can still try out other mushrooms at a small portion size (2 tablespoons at most per serving).


The holy grail of all vitamin D enriched food. Salmon has about 21 mcg of vitamin D per 6oz or 170g. Other fish that contain high levels of vitamin D include sardines and herring clocking in at 4.8 and 5.4 for every 100g.

And did you know, smoked salmon has higher vitamin D content comparing to fresh ones? A 100g serving of smoked salmon can serve you 17mcg of vitamin D! More reasons for you to have bagels ;)

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