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Vitamin D - Foods and Information
We think of Vitamin D as the sunlight vitamin. Simply being outside in the sun helps your body naturally synthesize Vitamin D. But for those not living in the tropics, you might need a little help in this area.
The US NIH recommends adults get about 600 IU of calcium every day. Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth, as well as maintaining a healthy immune system and nervous system. If you do not get enough Vitamin D you can develop rickets / osteomalacia - a situation where your bones become fragile.
Vitamin D also ensures that calcium gets absorbed. If you took in just calcium without any vitamin D, that calcium wouldn't be absorbed properly. The two need to work as a pair. This is part of why most milk comes fortified with vitamin D in it.
Some of the best sources of vitamin D include salmon, tuna, and mackerel. You also get vitamin D from dairy products such as cheese and egg yolks.
Foods high in vitamin D include:
Cod liver oil: 1360IU / tablespoon
Herring: 2061IU / serving
Catfish: 1053IU / serving
Oyster: 941IU / serving
Salmon: 920IU / serving
Trout: 760IU / serving
It's definitely worth it to increase your weekly intake of fish such as salmon and tuna, for this and many other reasons. However, it's probably not likely that you'll eat salmon every single day. So you can go for the cod liver oil option, or you can make sure you take a multivitamin that contains ample Vitamin D in it.
If you have kids with growing bones, or if you're elderly, it's even more important to watch over the calcium intake. In both cases the bones are especially vulnerable and need to make sure they get their Vitamin D and calcium each day. But, really, Vitamin D and calcium are important to us all. We all need strong teeth to be able to chew our food. We all need strong bones to carry us around and survive the falls and bruises that life tends to throw at us.
So definitely eat foods with ample Vitamin D - and also look into a multivitamin to ensure you'll be getting those amounts every day.
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