Vitamin D Foods – Best Food Sources for Stronger Bones and Muscles
Vitamin D foods are what our body needs to have an adequate amount of calcium. And building calcium for our bones is essential as strong bones are what comprise our body’s strength!
Vitamin D foods are essential in keeping our bodies to have strong bones. It helps our bones not to be deficient in vitamin D. Deficiency in vitamin D is linked with Rickets disease.
Rickets disease is a condition where bone tissues do not mineralize, making our bones soft. It leads to skeletal deformities. Other health disorders concerning calcium deficiency are bone pain, muscle pain and fatigue.
So, eating vitamin D foods can prevent these health conditions. With vitamin D, the needed calcium is absorbed by our bones. More so, calcium prevents the release of parathyroid hormone. This hormone makes the bone-thin and brittle by incorporating the bone tissue.
Other than bone strengthening, vitamin D foods can provide our body with many health benefits. One of these is keeping the function of our muscles that supports the bones. Also, it gives power to your immune system, making us resilient to diseases and other infections.
Some research shows that vitamin D prevents the risk of some cancers like colon, prostate, and breast. Also, it may contribute to the treatment of diabetes and heart-related diseases.
Also, vitamin D high foods can lead to a healthy pregnancy. According to studies, vitamin D gives nutrients to pregnant women and neurodevelopment for babies. It also provides an immune system for both the mother and baby.
One of vitamin D foods tasks is to combat depression, anxiety and stress. Vitamin D believes in countering the negative moods in our bodies. It increases hormones that affect our moods to become more pleasant and positive in many ways.
Moreover, since vitamin D high foods regulate calcium absorption, deficiency of vitamin D is associated with rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study from Oxford University. Therefore, vitamin D foods regulate pro-inflammatory cells, which create balance inflammation in our bodies. As a result, it will heal inflammation and infections to our bodies.
Vitamin D Recommended Intake per Day
With the benefits of vitamin D, it is of great importance to know the recommended daily intake. The amount of vitamin D is based on your age, and as we grow older, the consumption of vitamin D will increase. Support for bone health as we grow older will provide strength and prevent medical conditions related to bones.
The following are the daily recommended vitamin D intake.
Infants from 0 – 12 months will need 400 IU or 10 mcg. For ages 1 to 70 years old, 600 IU or 15 mcg is recommended, while those for 70 years past above will need 800 IU or 20 mcg.
For lactating or pregnant women of ages 14 to 50, 600 IU or 15 mcg will be the recommended daily intake of vitamin D.
What are vitamin D foods?
With that recommended amount of vitamin D in our body, where should we get it? What are the vitamin D foods that can provide us with the needed nutrients for our bones?
Not all healthy foods are an abundant source of vitamin D. Here is the vitamin D food list with promising results to your body.
Fish and Fish oil
One of the best sources of vitamin D is fish. And with regards to fish oil, you can never go wrong with it. One tablespoon of fish oil contains almost triple the daily recommended value of vitamin D in our body. It is suggested that those who have a deficiency in vitamin D.
You can have swordfish as your favorite dish if you want to have an adequate source of vitamin D; Take three ounces of swordfish that you can cook to have the recommended per day of vitamin D. Other than vitamin D, it also comes with vitamin B and other minerals.
Like swordfish, salmon is one of the vitamin D foods that can provide your daily recommended value of this vitamin. Just cook three ounces of salmon, and you will have what you need. Also, some vitamins like niacin and thiamin with omega-3 fatty acids are packed in salmon. Don’t forget selenium and phosphorus, as your much-needed minerals.
Also, Atlantic mackerel is a great vitamin D food source that complements to your daily recommended vitamin D. One fillet of mackerel can cover your needed vitamin D and B vitamins. Other minerals like selenium, phosphorus and magnesium can provide nutrients in your body.
Meat Organs (Liver)
Other than fish, beef liver covers a certain amount of vitamin D. It is suggested that if you eat three ounces of beef liver, you will have the recommended daily value of vitamin D. Aside from vitamin D, it provides B vitamins, which gives you more reason to include this in your vitamins D food list.
Fish and meat are not only vitamin D high foods. You can still have eggs that can substitute for those who have an allergy to fish. And eggs will be a great choice if you are not a fan of meat organs such as the beef liver. Other than vitamin D, eggs are an amazing source of other vitamins and minerals, which give your body more nutrients.
If you have no problem in your digestion like lactose intolerance, you can have one cup of milk for the daily recommended value of vitamin D. You can also get B vitamins, calcium and phosphorus. Make sure you are getting fortified milk.
Yogurt is also one of the vitamin D foods which provide nutrients for better bone development and strength. It is a dairy product that offers other nutrition like B vitamins and minerals. Look for Greek yogurt, no added sugar and additives to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
Since we cannot have vitamin D from vegetables, you can enjoy its oils in the form of margarine. Margarine is not butter though it tastes like butter. And yes, fortified margarine is what you need to have vitamin D daily recommended value. Other than that, you can have vitamins A and E.
Enriched with vitamin D, fortified cereals are the choice of vegetarian people if they feel like having vitamin D deficient. Since it is packaged foods and processed in a way to include vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables, you need to read the labels. Make sure that ingredients can cover your needed nutrients like vitamin D.
Indeed, there are limited vitamin D foods for vegetarian people. And one of the vitamin D foods that they can have is cheddar cheese. A great source of vitamin A and B with other minerals, one cup of diced cheddar cheese, can give your daily value of this vitamin.
Moreover, make sure you have a natural squeezed orange juice as a vitamin D food source. If you have a limited source of fresh orange, check the orange juice in supermarket shelves. Make sure to have vitamin D as one of its ingredients.
How to avoid vitamin D deficiency?
If you fail the recommended daily intake of vitamin D, over time, you can experience the deficiency symptoms. As we have mentioned earlier in this article, one common disease for vitamin D deficiency is the rickets disease. Well, to avoid more severe complications for vitamin D deficiency, such as osteoporosis, make sure you can do the following tips we prepared.
Include more vitamin D foods in your diet.
Vitamin D foods sources are fish, beef liver, eggs and other products like yogurt and cheese. There are only a limited source of vitamin D foods. So take your chance and include it in your daily meal plans.
Protect your kidneys.
Your kidneys are responsible for the conversion of vitamin D to calcitriol. Calcitriol is the active form of vitamin D, and a lack of calcitriol can lead to deficiency.
Make your digestion in good shape.
Like with other healthy foods, your digestive system is the key to the proper absorption of nutrients from the food we eat. For instance, vitamin D foods need to have an active form so that we can absorb it properly. Malabsorption can only lead to deficiency.
Reduce weight to have less fat.
Healthy body weight is needed to ensure the sufficiency of vitamin D in our body. Otherwise, the increase of fat cells in our blood can lessen the vitamin D in blood circulation.
What happens when you have too much vitamin D? Like other vitamins, if one has surpassed the recommended daily value of vitamins, it can lead to toxicity. If not treated right away, it will cause some irreversible health effects.
How do you know if you have an overdosage of vitamin D? Symptoms of overconsumption are weight loss, anorexia and heart arrhythmias. It can also damage our heart, blood vessels and kidneys if you have too much calcium in your blood.
Usually, what leads to the toxicity of vitamins in our body are the supplements that we are taking without the proper medical prescription. Then, an overdose of vitamin D in our body is not caused by vitamin D rich foods.
The goodness of vitamin D foods
And yes, vitamin D does not only come from what we eat or drink. One great source of vitamin D is sunlight. Our exposure to sunlight can give us vitamin D that our body needs. As the primary source of vitamin D, it increases levels of chemicals in our brain called dopamine and serotonin.
Another thing, when it comes to vitamin D foods, you cannot have an abundant source of naturally high contents of this vitamin. That is why we have vitamin D supplements that can provide additional vitamin D in our body. It is of great value that we have supplements like vitamin D foods. Otherwise, we will have a deficiency, which is not helpful.
However, vitamin D supplements are only recommended if you have a deficiency in this vitamin. Some causes of vitamin D deficiency are from age and medical conditions that affect the absorption of dietary fat. Celiac disease and Crohn’s disease are health conditions that lower the concentration of vitamin D.
But before taking any supplements, always check with your doctor what will be the best vitamin D supplement for you. Since there are two ends in the rope, you must be cautious between deficiency and overdosage, which can lead to toxicity. Make sure that you only have adequate amounts of vitamin D from the quality and healthy food sources of vitamin D. More so, follow the recommendations of your doctor that will determine how many dosages of vitamin D you need.
Self-medication to alleviate the deficiency of vitamin D or any vitamins is not recommended. Proper treatment and medication are still needed to prevent further health problems.