Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that your body needs to function, specifically good for bone health, but also fighting against colds and depression. However, it’s possible you’re not getting enough vitamin D if you don’t spend much time in the sun or if your body has trouble absorbing it. Vitamin D deficiencies are considered to be a major public health worry in the world today. The following list includes many different ways you can increase your vitamin D levels.
Sunlight stimulates the body to create vitamin D, but many health care specialists shy away from recommending sunlight due to the risk of skin cancer. That being said, a small amount of sun exposure - usually around 15 minutes is recommended - can be helpful. Unfortunately, the sun probably won’t provide your daily vitamin D needs, especially if you live at high latitude, in the winter, or if you’re older (the process is not as effective) or dark-skinned (skin pigment blocks light). It’s also important to note that light through windows doesn’t count!
- Fortified Foods
Few foods actually contain enough vitamin D, so the nutrient is often added to standard foods to make it easier for us to reach our daily recommended intake. “When you’re eating fortified foods, it’s always important to check how much has been added to foods, as it may still not be enough; read the ingredients list and nutritional information on the packaging,” recommends Mary Higgins, a health blogger at Academized and Bigassignments,
Foods that are regularly fortified with vitamin D include milks - cow milk and plant-based alternatives - orange juice, cereals, yogurt, and tofu.
Mushrooms, like humans, are able to produce vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. Most mushrooms are grown in the dark and haven’t produced the vitamin, so it’s important to look for specific brands which have grown mushrooms under UV light to stimulate the production of vitamin D. These are a great option for vegans and vegetarians as it is completely plant-based, unlike most other options on this list.
Vitamin D supplements are a helpful way to get your proper daily dose, and you avoid the issue of skin cancer that you might encounter with UV light. You can take your entire daily dose of vitamin D at the same time as well, without splitting it into multiple portions. It’s critical to know that too much vitamin D can be toxic, and the upper limit of 4,000 international units (IUs) set by the Institute of Medicine for those aged nine and older includes all sources of vitamin D - supplements, sun, and food. We recommend that you speak with your doctor to find the best dosage for you. For vegans, note that many vitamin D supplements come from animal sources, so it’s important to look for vegan alternative options, which do exist online or in specialty health stores.
- Egg Yolks
Eggs are an easy way to get vitamin D since they’re included in many meal recipes. The vitamin D in the egg comes from the yolk, however, so use the whole egg, not just the whites. Try to get your daily vitamin D from multiple sources though, because eggs are high in cholesterol.
- Fatty Fish And Seafood
Fatty fish and seafood are some of the richest natural food options for vitamin D intake. The exact content varies on the species, but typical options include salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, eel, shrimps, anchovies, etc. A helpful tip from Amy Richards, a health writer at Stateofwriting and Eliteassignmenthelp, is that “you can get these benefits from fresh or canned fish, like tuna or sardines, though bear in mind that wild fish typically contains more vitamin D than farmed fish.”
These foods all have a bonus in that they’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are important for heart health. Vitamin D is necessary for your body to absorb calcium and promote bone health. There is no set dosage as each individual is different, but recommendations usually range from 600 to 2,000 IU per day, though some individuals need more. If you follow these tips above, you should be on your way to boosting your vitamin D levels, and don’t forget to check these with your doctor.
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