High Contrast

Alternative Sources of Vitamin D

For some people, getting a little sunlight might be an easy way to obtain Vitamin D (as long as you don’t overdo it). However, there are many who still need to increase their levels of this critical vitamin. Hectic schedules don’t always allow for a window of time to enjoy a dose of sunshine, and that can result in a vitamin D deficiency.

If you have a deficiency, a vitamin D supplement might help. There are also health-promoting, whole foods that can provide more of this vitamin in your daily diet. Learn more about the importance of vitamin D and different sources of vitamin D today.

The Importance of Vitamin D

Feeling happier and healthier are only a couple of the reasons why people need vitamin D. This vitamin is critical for bone growth and development. It promotes calcium absorption in the gut, and helps prevent bones from becoming brittle, misshapen or weak. Other vitamin D benefits include warding off depression, reducing inflammation and boosting immune system function. Doctors recommend getting out in the sun for 20-25 minutes daily, as sunlight allows the body to produce the ideal form of vitamin D, cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3. However, if this is not always a practical option, there are a number of ways to still get a sufficient amount of vitamin D.

Vitamin D Rich Foods

There are few natural foods containing vitamin D. Fortified foods like orange juice, cereal, soy milk, and certain dairy products can help boost levels. Some vitamin-D rich foods:

  • Egg yolks
  • Cheese
  • Beef liver
  • Fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna

Recipes to Increase Vitamin D

For healthy meals rich with vitamin D, salmon is a great place to start. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper on a baking dish, combined with cherry tomatoes, zucchini and olives, and place it into a preheated oven for 22 minutes. Mediterranean Salmon with Tomatoes, Olives, and Zucchini is an easy recipe that is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids. When the budget is tight, head for shelf-stable canned tuna fish or sardines. A healthy tuna fish salad in a whole-wheat wrap is another way to increase levels of Vitamin D without a lot of prep.

An egg and vegetable omelet is a simple way to mix and match vitamin-D rich foods. Combine whole eggs—not just the whites—with other sources of Vitamin D, such as mushrooms and cheese.

Boost Your Vitamin D Intake Today

A three-ounce piece of cooked sockeye salmon will provide the body with over 450 international units (IU) of vitamin D. Most individuals up to 70 years of age need 600 IU of vitamin D per day. The recommended level goes up to 800 IU for anyone over 70, as well as for anyone with a vitamin D deficiency or at a high risk of developing osteoporosis.

If your schedule doesn’t allow for cooking vitamin-D rich dishes or a few minutes in the sun, there are also vitamin D supplements available if you have a deficiency. These supplements are offered in both vitamin D3 and vitamin D2 form, so be sure you know which is right for you if considering this option. Before adding any supplement to your diet, discuss it with a trusted medical professional to ensure it’s a good fit.

If you are interested in learning about other healthy eating habits, visit CareSpot Urgent Care online today.