Naturally Boost Your Vitamin D Levels

Naturally Boost Your Vitamin D Levels

Sitting out, soaking in the sun’s rays is known as the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. Referred to as the “sunshine” vitamin, vitamin D promotes healthy cell activity, strengthens the immune system, prevents chronic illnesses (such as cancer), and improves skeletal health by allowing the body to absorb calcium. The current U.S. daily-recommended intake of vitamin D is 600 IU (international units).

A 2009 study found that three quarters of American teens and adults were vitamin D deficient. Your body naturally produces vitamin D with adequate sunlight, but you could get this vitamin through your daily diet.

Fish

Raw fish generally contains more vitamin D as opposed to cooked, so sushi is your best bet. However, mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, catfish, and tuna are all packed with vitamin D. Just 3 ½ ounces of mackerel (547 IU) or salmon (370 IU) will provide 90 percent of your daily-recommended amount. Sardines not only contain 70 percent of your recommended daily amount, but they also contains vitamin B-12 and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Choose fatty cut fish opposed to lean cuts, and if you choose canned fish, those in oil will provide higher amounts of vitamin D.

Dairy Products

Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and butter contain bone-strengthening calcium, but vitamin D is also added to these products. Whole milk contains 13 percent of the daily-recommended amount per 100 gram serving (124 IU), and cheese contains two percent of the daily-recommended amount per cubic inch.

Eggs

Although they provide only a small amount of vitamin D, eating eggs each morning would give you about 10 percent of the daily-recommended amount (37 IU). Along with vitamin D, eggs are also a great source of protein.

Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are high in vitamins D, B1, and B2 because they are grown in the sunlight. Make sure you purchase naturally dried shiitake mushrooms to get the most vitamin D.  White button mushrooms contain seven percent of the daily-recommended amount needed per 100 grams (27 IU). Adding mushrooms to an omelet is a great way to increase your vitamin D intake.

Tofu

Soy products, such as tofu are fortified with calcium and about 39 percent of the daily-recommended amount of vitamin D (120 IU).  Vegetarians can add tofu into eggs, salads, or stir-fry, but always read food labels since the amount of vitamin content varies.

Along with eating vitamin D rich foods, it is also recommended that you go for early morning walks that will get you sun exposure and improve your cardiovascular system.

While 80-90 percent of the vitamin D we receive each day is from the sun, those who cannot spend time outdoors are advised to pay attention to their vitamin D intake to avoid a vitamin deficiency. Those who suffer from a vitamin D deficiency may feel joint pain, chronic pain, constipation, headaches, uncontrolled weight gain, fatigue, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and osteoporosis. Make sure you have enough magnesium in your diet to assure that your body can properly use vitamin D.



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