By Andrew Desjardins
The health advantages of vitamin D are well known. Vitamin D
is crucial in supporting the absorption and depositing of
calcium into our bones, ensuring that bone density and
strength is enhanced, to a large degree preventing diseases
of the bone. Are foods with vitamin D the most important
source of vitamin D?
The most important supply of vitamin D is our own bodies. It
is the only vitamin that is actually synthesized by our
bodies, but it needs sunlight to trigger the synthesizing
process - that is why it is sometimes called the sunshine
vitamin. In some geographic areas people can actually
experience a deficiency in vitamin D because a lack of
sunlight exposure. As a matter of fact, this lack of
sunshine, and the resulting lack of vitamin D, has been
linked to various diseases, including depression.
Foods with vitamin D are one way of supplementing our
bodies' vitamin D requirements.
There are actually not very many foods with natural vitamin
D sources in significant amounts. There are foods that have
been fortified with vitamin D, and these are a valuable
source, although in itself will probably not be sufficient.
The following are known as foods with vitamin D:
Mushrooms (especially Shiitake & Button): Probably the only
source of dietary vitamin D suitable for vegans, these
mushrooms have surprising amounts of vitamin D. They are
also rich in the B vitamins. If you purchase the dried
versions, make sure that you buy those that have been dried
Mackerel, Salmon, Herring, Tuna, Sardines: - in fact, most
fatty fish that are also rich in Omega 3 fatty acids are
good sources of vitamin D. A portion of mackerel can
actually supply up to 90% of your required daily intake.
Sardines in particular are excellent sources of dietary
Cod Liver oil: Cod liver oil was one of the first sources of
vitamin D used medicinally for children with rickets. It is
very rich in Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids; one
tablespoon of oil a day is sufficient. Research has shown
that cod liver oil prevents osteoporosis as well.
Eggs: Although only containing small amounts, eggs are
another food source for the vitamin.
Liver and liver products are also foods with vitamin D.
Fortified foods with vitamin D: Milk is generally fortified
with vitamin D in the usa, with 98% of the milk supply
containing significant amounts of the vitamin. Read food
labels before making purchasing decisions, as orange juice,
pastries and margarine are routinely fortified as well.
Supplementing your vitamin D intake with vitamin supplements.
It is very important to have sufficient amounts of calcium
and magnesium along with vitamin D supplements.
The health advantages of Vitamin D are incontrovertible.
Most people should get enough of the vitamin with sunlight
synthesis and in their diets. Interestingly vitamin D is
stored in the fat cells for up to sixty days, so strictly
speaking you do not need to ingest vitamin D on a daily
basis. There are excellent reasons to make sure that you
have sufficient vitamin D levels in your system. Look after
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