The body needs the right amount of Vitamin D and many people do not get enough. Vitamin D is a vitamin that the body needs daily through the entire life. This vitamin is different because our bodies can make most of this vitamin with exposure to sunlight. It is much more than a vitamin due to the fact that it often acts as a pro-hormone and affects immune regulation and hormone balance in the body. Vitamin D also plays a role in calcium absorption into the bones. Even though vitamin D can be received through sunlight, some people are prone to vitamin D deficiency. This can cause the softening of bones which is known as osteomalacia or a bone abnormality called rickets. People that are most prone to vitamin D deficiency include that have low-fat diets, people who lack sun exposure and those taking weight loss medications and/or steroids. There are many health benefits of Vitamin D.
- Weight management
- Healthy nervous system
- Reduced risk of breast and colon cancer
- Bone and muscle health
- Healthy child development
- Prevention of autoimmune diseases
There are many types of Vitamin D that have different uses and benefits. Vitamin D2 and D3 are the forms that are most beneficial to humans. Vitamin D2 is a plant form of vitamin D. Eating food sources with D2 are a good way to boost nutrient quantity. It can aid in the absorption of calcium from the stomach and the functioning of calcium in the body. Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble, essential nutrient that treats a condition characterized by weakening bones called osteoporosis. Other disorders like rickets and osteomalacia can also be treated with Vitamin D3 because it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. This same vitamin may also be given to breastfeeding infants as a supplement because breast milk does not contain the necessary levels. Here are some foods that are high in vitamin D.
Salmon is a popular fatty fish that is full of nutrients. Not only does it contain omega-3 fatty acids but it is also a great source of protein, potassium and vitamin D. Adding salmon into your diet may reduce the risk of heart disease and can benefit weight control.
Herring and Sardines
Sardines and herrings are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They are very similar and herrings and often canned and labeled as sardines. Both types of fish and good sources of vitamin D and zinc. Sardines are also rich in calcium.
Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is the essential oil extracted from the liver of Atlantic cod. This oil is most commonly taken as a dietary supplement. It is one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids and contains high amounts of vitamin D.
Canned tuna is enjoyable because of its light flavor and the fact that it can be kept on-hand. It can also be cheaper than buying fresh fish. This can provide a good source of niacin and vitamin K in addition to vitamin D.
Oysters are a type of clam that lives in salt water. They are low in calories and full of nutrients. Because of the amount of protein, oysters can leave you feeling fuller than other foods. Essential nutrients like vitamin A, E and D can be found in oysters as well.
Shrimp is a popular type of shellfish that is a source of vitamin D and unlike other seafood, are very low in fat. They also contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
Whole eggs are a great source of many beneficial nutrients. While protein is mostly found in the egg white, fat, vitamins and minerals and found mostly in the egg yolk. Eggs from chickens fed with vitamin D-enriched feed can have even more amounts of vitamin D.
With the exception of fortified foods, mushrooms are the only plant source of vitamin D. They produce vitamin D2 which helps raise blood levels of vitamin D. Wild mushrooms and mushrooms treated with UV light are the only types of mushrooms that provide vitamin D.