One of the most essential nutrients required for the proper functioning of your body is vitamin D. It is needed for various crucial processes like building and maintaining strong bones. Low intake of vitamin D is also becoming a global health problem. Almost 13 percent of the world’s population gets affected by a deficiency of vitamin D.
...But What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It helps in absorbing calcium, promoting the growth and strength of your bones. It is also involved in many other functions of your body like immune, circulatory, nervous, and digestive systems. Many studies also suggest that vitamin D can help in preventing many illnesses like depression, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. However, more research is required on the same.
So, here are some of the effective ways you can follow to increase your vitamin D levels.
1. Sunlight is Important
The easiest and best way to get vitamin D is to go out and spend some time in sunlight. The sun is one of the biggest sources of vitamin D. Your skin has a type of cholesterol that works like a precursor to vitamin D. When you expose your skin to the UV-B radiation in the sunlight, this compound becomes vitamin D.
One of the big advantages of consuming vitamin D from the sun is that it can circulate for more time than vitamin D coming from food or supplements. However, making vitamin D depends on many variables like:
Your Skin Tone And Age
If your complexion is dark, you would have to spend more time in the sun for the production of vitamin D. This is because of more melanin in the darker skin. Melanin is a compound that can hinder the production of vitamin D.
Also, your age can have an impact on this as well. Production of vitamin D becomes less efficient as you get older.
Your Geographical Location
If you live closer to the quarter, you will be able to produce more vitamin D throughout the year. This is due to the more exposure to the sun.
2. Fatty Fish And Seafood Are a Good Source
One of the richest and natural foods that provide vitamin D are fatty fish and seafood. Every 100 gram of canned salmon can provide you with up to 386 IU of vitamin D. This makes it a rich source of vitamin D.
However, the amount of vitamin D in seafood depend upon the type and species. Some of the fish and seafood that are rich in vitamin D are:
You can also get a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids that are healthy for your heart from these foods.
3. Mushrooms Are Also a Big Source of Vitamin D
If you are a vegetarian, mushrooms can be your best pick when looking for a source of vitamin D. Mushrooms also make their own vitamin D when exposed to UV light. We, humans, produce D3(cholecalciferol) while mushrooms produce D2 (ergocalciferol).
Both the vitamins, D3 and D2 can increase the circulation of vitamin D levels. But, according to some studies, D3 is better than D2 in raising the levels. Just like seafood, the content of vitamin D in a mushroom depends upon its type. Wild mushrooms may have more vitamin D than the ones grown commercially due to more exposure to sunlight. But, make sure you buy your mushrooms from a trusted supplier. Because there are many varieties of mushrooms that are poisonous.
4. Eat Egg Yolks
Another great source of vitamin D you can add to your diet are egg yolks. Again, the content depends upon some factors. If the chicken had less access to the sunlight, she will produce eggs containing 2-5 percent of the RDI. While the free-range or pastured chickens can produce eggs that can harbor up to four times more, i.e. up to 20 percent of the RDI. This depends upon the amount of time the chicken spends outside. The food you that the chicken eats also determine the\ content of vitamin D in eggs.
5. Fortified Foods
This nutrient is added to staple goods through a process called fortification. But, the availability of vitamin-D-fortified foods depends upon the country you live in. also, the amount of it added to foods also depends upon the brand and type.
Some examples are:
- Cow’s milk
- Orange juice
- Ready-to-eat cereals
- Certain types of yogurt
You can always check the list of ingredients to know whether the food item has been fortified or not.
Vitamin D is very essential for the proper functioning of your body. But this is also a nutrient that people around the world don’t get enough of. So, go out in the sun for vitamin D. You can also take supplements.