Without a doubt, the benefits of foods with vitamin D are considered one of the most important micronutrients in regards to their health. It is involved in almost everything, from immunity to brain function, and researchers are still discovering new ways in which vitamin D affects their well-being. However, with a limited selection of available vitamin D foods and a large portion of the population at risk of deficiency, many of us are simply not getting enough of this vital vitamin to be able to meet our needs effectively. Yes, vitamin D deficiency is very real and can affect your health. Fortunately, incorporating a good variety of foods rich in vitamin D into your diet can reduce the risk of deficiency and help optimize your health. So what foods are rich in vitamin D and why does it even matter? Let’s dive in and discuss why you might want to start paying more attention to your dietary intake of this incredibly important vitamin.
Benefits of Foods with Vitamin D:
1. Can Help Control Weight:
If you have trouble getting rid of stubborn belly fat despite following a strict diet and training plan, it may be time to start stocking up on some benefits of vitamin D-rich foods to make sure it meets your daily needs. Research suggests that there may be a connection between obesity and vitamin D deficiency, and some studies even show that consuming enough of this key vitamin could also help you lose weight. One study showed that women who met their vitamin D requirements lost 7 pounds more than a placebo group over a period of one year. Meanwhile, another study showed that having a greater amount of body fat was related to lower levels of vitamin D in the blood. However, it is still unclear whether obesity can increase the risk of vitamin D deficiency or if obesity can contribute to a low level of vitamin D. More research is needed to understand the complex role that vitamin D can play in weight control
2. Improves Brain Health
In addition to keeping your body healthy, some studies have also found that the benefits of vitamin D foods can be equally important when it comes to brain health. Some studies have even shown that a vitamin D deficiency could be associated with an increased risk of developing conditions such as schizophrenia. Other research also found that vitamin D status can also influence depression, anxiety, seasonal affective disorder and insomnia. Getting enough vitamin D can also increase brain power; Lower levels of vitamin D may be related to poor performance on standardized tests, difficulties with attention and focus, as well as impaired decision making.
3. Can Help Prevent Cancer Formation:
It’s no secret that what you put on your plate can have a big influence on your risk of chronic diseases like cancer, but did you know that your vitamin D levels could also have an impact? Although research is still limited on how vitamin D can affect cancer risk, some studies have found that vitamin D deficiency may be related to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, including prostate, breast and colon cancer.
“According to a review, it is believed that vitamin D affects the growth of tumor cells, cell differentiation and even the death of cancer cells”.
In addition, sun exposure and blood levels of vitamin D may also be associated with a lower risk of occurrence and mortality for several different types of cancer as well. So, add foods with vitamin D to your list of foods that fight cancer.
4. Strengthen the Bones:
One of the best-known benefits of foods with vitamin D is its powerful effect on bone density. In fact, one of the characteristic symptoms of a severe vitamin D deficiency is rickets, a condition that affects children and is characterized by bone abnormalities and a reduction in bone mineral density. Although rickets is incredibly rare today, other bone-related disorders, such as osteoporosis, are still very common. Not only has vitamin D deficiency been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, but it has also been linked to lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of fractures in older adults. Exposing yourself regularly to the sun and eating a variety of foods with vitamin D in your diet is one of the best ways to keep your bones healthy and strong to reduce the risk of these conditions. And, of course, in addition to eating many foods rich in vitamin D, make sure you also get a good amount of calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium in your diet to help improve bone health.
5. Improves Immune Function:
While many people tend to rule out sneezing and sneezing as part of the season, few people realize that low levels of vitamin D can be a stealth source behind certain immune problems and infections. Vitamin D helps in cell replication and is believed to help protect against the development of autoimmune conditions and infections such as cold. The benefits of vitamin D foods can also help prevent prolonged inflammation, which is often considered the cause of many chronic diseases and health problems. Studies show that inflammation can play a role in heart disease, diabetes and cancer, along with a wide range of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and inflammatory bowel disease.
The 12 Main Sources of Vitamin D (And the Main Foods with Vitamin D)
In food sources, vitamin D is available in two different forms. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) can be found in animal foods such as fish, while vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is found in other sources, such as fungi. Vitamin D3 is the most widely used form of supplements and multivitamins because it has been found to be more effective in increasing serum levels of vitamin D. Increasing food intake with vitamin D is one of the best ways to prevent a deficiency and promote overall health. Children under 12 months need at least 400 IU per day and people from 1 to 70 years require 600 IU per day. Older adults require even more vitamin D and should aim to get at least 800 IU of vitamin D per day. So what foods have vitamin D? These are some of the main sources to make sure you meet your daily needs for this important fat-soluble vitamin:
- Sunlight: 5-30 minutes of sun exposure at least twice a week (more than 100 percent DV)
- Cod liver oil – 1 tablespoon: 1,360 IU (more than 100 percent DV)
- Salmon caught in the wild – 3 ounces: 447 IU (more than 100 percent DV)
- Mackerel – 3 ounces: 306 IU (76 percent DV)
- Tuna fish – 3 ounces: 154 IU (39 percent DV)
- Fortified milk – 1 cup: 124 IU (31 percent DV)
- Sardines- 2 sardines: 47 IU (12 percent DV)
- Beef liver – 3 ounces: 42 IU (11 percent DV)
- Eggs – 1 egg: 41 IU (10 percent DV)
- Fortified cereal – 1 cup: 40 IU (10 percent DV)
- Caviar – 1 tablespoon: 37 IU (9 percent DV)
- Mushrooms – 1 cup: 2 IU (1 percent DV)
Although adding many vitamin D-rich foods to your diet can help reduce the risk of deficiency, it is best to pair these foods with vitamin D whenever possible with sun exposure. In some cases, supplementation may also be necessary to ensure your needs are met. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, you should check with your doctor to determine the best treatment for you. Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, it must be consumed with your choice of healthy fats to help maximize absorption. Ghee, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds are excellent options to help increase the bioavailability of vitamin D. Also, keep in mind that vitamin D toxicity is possible, although it is usually caused by supplementation rather than exposure to the sun or dietary sources. High doses of vitamin D supplements can cause symptoms such as vomiting, weakness, nausea and frequent urination. If you decide to take vitamin D supplements, be sure to keep the recommended dose to avoid adverse side effects.
What Is Vitamin D? and What is Your Role in the Body?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a central role in many health components. It stands out from other vitamins because your body can do most of what it needs through exposure to sunlight, which is why it is often called the “sun vitamin.” It is also unique as it acts as a steroid hormone instead of simply a vitamin in the body and is involved in everything from weight control to bone health. When you consume vitamin D, you undergo a two-step process to convert it into its active form. First, it is transformed into its storage form 25 (OH) D (or calcidiol) in the liver. Then, it becomes its active form, 1.25 (OH) 2D, in the kidneys. From there, it works by communicating with the cells to control a multitude of functions in the body, from the alteration of calcium absorption to the improvement of immune health. Meanwhile, when your skin is exposed to sunlight, the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays provide energy that helps cholesterol in your skin produce vitamin D. In general, it is recommended to squeeze at least 5-30 minutes of exposure. in the sun twice a week to help meet your vitamin D needs, although this may vary based on a number of factors, such as age, skin color and body weight.
How to Get More Vitamin D in Your Diet?
While regular sun exposure is the best option to avoid vitamin D deficiency, you can also increase your intake of vitamin D-rich foods to maintain your vitamin D status. Try to consume 1 to 2 servings of vitamin D foods. per day and try to include a good mix of vegetables with vitamin D, dairy products and fatty fish to obtain a wide variety of important micronutrients in addition to vitamin D. For those who do not consume fish, it can be a bit complicated to get enough vitamin D only from food sources. However, there are still many vitamin D food options available for vegetarians and vegans alike. In addition to fatty fish and liver, vitamin D can also be found in sources such as eggs and mushrooms, as well as in fortified products such as cereals, juices and dairy products.
Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Foods with Vitamin D:
- Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin involved in many aspects of health.
- It is mainly obtained through sun exposure, but it can also come from food sources such as fatty fish, dairy products, mushrooms, eggs and fortified foods.
- Getting enough vitamin D may be related to better bone health, better weight control, improved brain function, an increase in immune function and a lower risk of certain types of cancer.
- On the contrary, a deficiency in this key vitamin may be associated with chronic conditions and symptoms such as weakness, fatigue and depression.
- Eating some foods with vitamin D per day can help you easily meet your needs and reduce the risk of deficiency.