Superstar Vitamin D
In the last few years vitamin D has had the spotlight for its increased role to many bodily functions. Once thought to be primarily required for bone health, recent studies have found that vitamin D may play a role to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, autoimmune diseases,osteoporosis and more. Research is suggesting that low levels of D can increase the risk of these conditions, therefore the close attention is well worth it.
Vitamin D within the body is both a hormone and fat soluble vitamin. Vitamin D is best known for bone health and growth thanks to its relationship with calcium in the body. Without vitamin D bones can become brittle and frail. D also supports cell growth, immune function and inflammation. Also as a support to weight loss and management, D has been shown to decrease fat mass and hormone regulation in response to hunger and fullness.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Dubbed the “Sunshine Vitamin”, as the body is able to produce the vitamin with the help of the sun. Just ten minutes of daily sun exposure allows to the body to get to work and pump out some vitamin D. However, many folks are deficient due to lack of sun exposure for various reasons and the vitamin is not found in many dietary sources.
The recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D
When referring to vitamins, we have recommended dietary guidelines that are suggested also known as the RDA. Previous recommendations for D were 400 IU (international units). In recent years the RDA has been increased to 600 IU. However, due to its increased bodily functions it would not be surprising if the RDA is raised again. Many practitioners, including myself, support levels 1000 IU as a minimum. Consuming foods that are good sources of vitamin D is one way to ensure you aren’t at risk of becoming deficient.
Foods rich in Vitamin D
Vitamin D is found naturally in a few food sources, such as salmon, tuna and other fatty fish, beef & calf liver, egg yolks, cheese & mushrooms. Common everyday foods such as dairy products (low fat milk, Greek yogurt), non dairy milks, cereals are fortified with vitamin D to ensure we are getting the recommended daily amounts.
Protect your bones, keep your weight in check and get your daily D by consuming foods listed above. Enjoy an omelet (with whole eggs) with mushrooms and cheese, have a Greek yogurt with a vitamin D fortified cereal or have salmon on your salad. Vitamin D is a superstar and rightfully so!