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4 Ways to Include More Vitamin D in Senior Diets

By , 9:00 am on

Though many people think that seniors can only get vitamin D from sunlight, there are also a number of ways for seniors to incorporate vitamin D in their diets. If you’re a caregiver for an elderly loved one, taking steps to include more of this essential nutrient into his or her daily meals can help keep him or her healthy and feeling good. Read on for four foods that the Phoenix senior care experts at Home Care Assistance suggest are an excellent source of vitamin D for seniors.


Trout, and other types of oily fish, are high in vitamin D, which research shows can lower risk of osteoporosis. A single serving of trout provides 90 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin D, with 539 international units (IUs). Because vitamin D is oil-soluble, it should always be eaten with fat for full absorption. For a simple way to prepare trout for your elderly loved one, brush it with melted butter and broil it five to six inches away from the heat source, for two to three minutes. Serve it with a squeeze of lemon and add salt and pepper to taste.

2. Mushrooms

As mushrooms provide 384 IUs of vitamin D per cup, they are a great way to incorporate this essential vitamin into your loved one’s diet and to promote his or her immune system. To make a simple side dish of mushrooms, have your loved one’s Phoenix part-time caregiver brush the dirt from the mushrooms with a dry cloth, slice the mushrooms thin, and sauté them in olive oil over medium-high heat until softened. Serve them warm on the side of dinner or as a light snack.

3. Tofu

A serving of tofu provides 124 IUs of Vitamin D, which helps to alleviate inflammation in the body. Tofu is incredibly versatile, taking on the flavors of the dish in which it is cooked. As tofu will soak in the sauces and juice from other ingredients, it makes a tasty vitamin D-filled alternative to traditional meats in simple dishes, like stir-fry. For an easy dinner meal for your loved one, chop vegetables and firm tofu into bite-size portions and sauté in olive oil over high heat. Season with soy sauce and serve over brown rice.

4. Tuna

Beyond fresh water fish, other types of fatty fish, like tuna, contain high-levels of Vitamin D. Canned tuna, preferably packed in oil, provides 150 IUs per serving. Since studies suggest that Vitamin D can help prevent cancer, serving your loved one a tuna salad lunch may help reduce his or her risk for cancer and other conditions. Combine tuna with mayonnaise and chopped celery and serve on a bed of lettuce or soft bread.

As many seniors struggle with getting sufficient amounts of necessary nutrients, taking steps to incorporate healthy and nutrient-rich foods is important. If your other responsibilities frequently keep you occupied, hiring a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help ensure your loved one eats well, even when you’re away from the home. To learn more about how our senior care services, including Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care in Phoenix, can help promote your loved one’s general health and wellbeing, reach out to a Care Manager at 602.388.1085 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.