Vitamin D is the secret to strong bones and a healthy immune system while also helping the body absorb calcium better. In some circles, vitamin D has been found to even lower the risk of heart disease making it something that everyone should get their daily allowances of. If you are not getting enough of the vitamin, you could be at risk to weak bones and osteoporosis, among others.
Though your chief source of the vitamin comes from exposure to the sun, you can also get it from some foods. This is important if you do not spend a lot of time outside. Here is how to increase vitamin D intake from food sources:
- Under the sea. Ironically, the best source of vitamin D is the ocean, underneath the waves to be exact, away from direct sunlight. Fish and seafood are a good source of the vitamin. You want to add these to the menu if you want to increase your vitamin D intake: herring, cod and cod liver, salmon, halibut, mackerel, catfish, tuna fish (canned, in water), eel and sardines (canned, in oil). Make sure you also get lots of shrimp and oysters too. If you already had these different foods as part of your diet, continue eating them regularly and try to increase your intake.
- Foods fortified in vitamin D. Make sure that you also add to your diet foods that have been enriched and fortified with vitamin D. Some foods and food products that usually have enhanced alternatives include cereals, orange juice, soy milk, rice milk, cow milk, yogurt, tofu, margarine and the like.
- Other food sources. Shitake mushrooms (among others), beef liver, eggs (especially the yolk), some cheeses and the like are also good sources of vitamin D which makes adding these to your meals a good idea.
- Properly preparing your meals. When preparing and cooking your food, try substituting what you normally use as ingredients with those fortified with vitamin D. So instead of using regular milk, go with a brand that has been fortified with the vitamin. Try saving and eating the skin of the fish like salmon since it will have loads of vitamin D as well.
- Taking supplements. Take calcium, magnesium and vitamin D3 supplements to help offset any vitamin D deficiencies. Taking fish oils, such as cod liver oil is another good way to supplement your vitamin D intake.
- Eat outside. The next time you have yourself a meal, why not try eating it outside, under the sun? Have a cookout or pack a picnic composed of the foods above and soak in the sun’s rays while enjoying your food. This double dose of vitamin D will surely benefit you.
Sometimes, you might not get as much exposure to the sun as you need
because of pollution and lifestyle choices. Increasing your vitamin D
intake from food sources is critical to your health. Living a healthy
lifestyle will let you live longer, so take stock of your diet and the
food that you eat to make sure that you are eating the right foods.