You might already know that vitamin D has the ability to affect many bodily functions that include bone health. When your body has low vitamin D levels, it may fall at risk for autoimmune diseases. There are so many people out there who don't get enough vitamin D and fall deficient in this vitamin which leads to health issues (1). Despite knowing the fact that your body produces vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight, many people find it hard to get this vitamin from day to day. That's when you rely on vitamin D rich foods to amp up the level of this vitamin in your body which can help you lead a healthy lifestyle.
Why is Vitamin D Important for Your Body?
Here are some reasons why vitamin D is so vital for your body:
- It improves your mood
- It improves your lung function
- It reduces your risk for multiple sclerosis
- It reduces the risk of cancer, especially prostate cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer
- It reduces the risk of diabetes, especially in younger aged people
- It protects you against heart diseases which includes high blood pressure and heart failure
- It prevents bone fractures
- It prevents falls in older people and osteoporosis
Vitamin D Deficiency: What are the symptoms?
Before you learn how to get vitamin D, you must understand the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. In children, rickets can be caused by a severe lack of vitamin D. Symptoms include bone pain, joint deformities, muscle weakness, and incorrect growth patterns caused by bowed or bent bones. Children with milk vitamin D deficiency may experience weak, sore or painful muscles. Generally, in adults, low levels of vitamin D can cause symptoms like bone pain, fatigue, mood changes like muscle weakness, depression, muscle ache or muscle cramps (2). Hence, you are required to get vitamin D through food, nutritional supplements, or, the best source of vitamin D - sunlight.
Vitamin D Foods List:
There are many foods rich in vitamin D that can help you achieve good amounts of this vitamin if it's hard for you to get an adequate supply of sunlight.
One of the best vitamin D foods is mushrooms. They are the only non-animal source of vitamin D that is sufficient. When exposed to UV light, mushrooms synthesize vitamin D. Some wild mushrooms like morels make for excellent sources of vitamin D. Some commercially grown mushrooms are treated with UV light in order to boost vitamin D content.
2. Egg Yolks:
Whole eggs make the list of rich vitamin D foods as they are quite nutritious. Most of the protein found in an egg is in the egg whites and the fat, vitamins and minerals are mostly in the egg yolks. However, some factors can affect the vitamin D level of egg yolks - chicken exposed to the sun, vitamin D content of the chicken feed, exposing liquid yolk to UV light will help increase vitamin D in the egg. Moreover, eggs from chickens that are given vitamin D packed feed can work better for you, so choose the eggs based on the chickens that are raised outside in the sun.
This is the most amazing food for vitamin D. Salmon has a high fat content, which makes it the best source of vitamin D. Always try to get salmon that is caught in the wild or is sustainably farmed. Usually, Alaskan salmon is 5 times better with vitamin D content than Atlantic salmon.
How to get vitamin D? Simple, with a glass one milk. You can get 20% of your daily vitamin D requirement from one glass of milk. It is important to drink whole fat milk since skimming the milk removes vitamin D since it is fat-soluble. However, skimmed milk, nowadays, is fortified with vitamin D so as to ensure you don't miss out on essential nutrients. Other dairy products like ice cream, cheese, and yoghurt don't contain fortified vitamin D or vitamin D. So consume a glass of milk every day to get a good dose of vitamin D.
5. Orange Juice:
If you're wondering how to increase vitamin D in your body, know that you can easily do that by consuming a glass of fresh orange juice. It is one of the best vitamin D rich foods that is packed with good amounts of this vitamin. Orange juice contains 100 IU vitamin D and 120 calories per cup.
Butter is a saturated fat that helps your body absorb antioxidants and vitamins. Vitamin D obtained from other sources can also be absorbed with its help. But that doesn't mean you go overboard with the consumption of butter. You can consume a moderate amount of butter in your daily diet which can give you a small amount of vitamin D.
7. Sour Cream:
Apart from giving your food a great taste, sour cream makes it to the vitamin D foods list as it is quite a healthy ingredient that's also a rich source of proteins, calcium, vitamin A & potassium. So don't think twice before adding sour cream to your snacks as it can help your body achieve some amounts of vitamin D.
Other than natural foods that contain vitamin D, there are also some supplements that can help you increase the level of this vitamin in your body. You can try the Saffola Fittify The Perfekt Gummies For Bone Health Calcium and Vitamin D. These gummies help in strengthening your muscles and improve osteoporosis. They are the ultimate game changer if you wish to get strong bones.
While food for vitamin D can help you increase the levels of this vitamin in your body as much as supplements and sunlight can, know that overdose of anything can harm your health. Vitamin D overdose can cause a number of health conditions that includes constipation, weight loss, weakness, kidney damage, nausea, poor appetite, etc. So make sure you get some tests done to accurately know your vitamin D levels and how much more you need in order to stay healthy. Consulting a doctor before starting to take any supplements for vitamin D is a better choice to make.
Are vitamin D supplements safe?
If taken in appropriate doses, vitamin D supplements can be safe. But, if you end up taking excess vitamin D in the form of supplements, it can mess up with your health. Children aged 9 years and older, adults and pregnant and breastfeeding women must not take more than 4000 IU of vitamin D per day.
What is the right amount of Vitamin D that a human body needs?
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the recommended dose of vitamin D for children and adults is up to 600 IU (International Units) a day. The upper limit of vitamin D is 2000 to 4000 IU per day.
What are the sources of Vitamin D?
The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. Other sources of vitamin D are supplements and foods that are mentioned in the list above.
Are Vitamin D gummies effective?
Yes, vitamin D gummies are effective supplements that can help you increase blood levels of this vitamin. In fact, gummies are absorbed better than vitamin D tablets.
What is the difference between Vitamin D3 & D?
Vitamin D3 is a natural form of vitamin D that is produced by your body with the help of sunlight. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that regulates calcium and phosphorus levels in your body.
Does a vegan diet cause Vitamin D deficiency?
People who choose a vegan diet, have a milk allergy or are lactose intolerant are more at risk of vitamin D deficiency.