Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to multiple health risks like, a weakened immune system, rickets, poor hair growth, osteomalacia, and increased cancer risk specifically in the breasts and colon.
There are many factors that contribute to a vitamin D deficiency. People are spending more time indoors and are using more sunscreen than previous generations. Things like weight, sex, age, skin pigmentation, and where you live also play a role.
Obesity can have an impact on your body’s ability to absorb vitamin D because fat cells trap it and keep it from circulating in your bloodstream. This also makes women more susceptible to a vitamin D deficiency over men as they tend to have more body fat.
Ability To Absorb
As we get older, our ability to absorb vitamin D from our food and produce it naturally decreases. We also have less energy which limits the time that we spend outside.
People who have darker skin pigmentation have a natural sunscreen called melanin, which keep their skin from synthesizing vitamin D. Also, people who live farther from the equator are less exposed to UV light, so they are unable to produce vitamin D from November to February.
Where Do You Get Your Vitamin D?
The best way to check for a vitamin D deficiency is to go to your doctor and ask to be tested. It’s a simple blood test that will determine if you are in fact low on vitamin D. The average daily amount of vitamin D recommended is 1000 – 2000 IU (international units).
Although the sun is the best way to produce vitamin D naturally, there are different food options that people can use to supplement their intake if they are not getting enough. These options are easy to obtain and will help you boost your vitamin D levels.
7 Vitamin D Rich Foods
Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil offers 500 IU of vitamin D in a single teaspoon (5g). It is also a great source of vitamin A and Omega-3 fats.
Oily fish also have a high dose of vitamin D, particularly trout. When you cook trout, the average fillet (about 71 g) contains 539 IU of vitamin D. It leads the pack when it comes to vitamin D.
Portobello mushrooms have the highest amount of vitamin D in the mushroom kingdom. 1 cup of diced portobellos has 384 IU of vitamin D.
Tofu is another great source of vitamin D, and a perfect source if you are looking for a vegan option. 79g of firm, fermented tofu contains 124 IU of vitamin D and it works great with any other food item on this list.
It might sound extreme, but caviar is really just unfertilized fish eggs. There are options out there that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, like salmon roe which is what they use in sushi. 28 g of caviar has 33 IU of vitamin D, plus only 74 calories and 1g of saturated fat!
Extra lean ham has the most vitamin D out of a long list of pork products. 100g of ham contains 93 IU of vitamin D.
The best way to prepare an egg to get the most vitamin D is by hard boiling it. 1 average sized hard boiled egg has 44 IU of vitamin D.
You can incorporate any of these food items into your diet based on how much supplementation you need. Maybe you need a big boost from the cod liver oil, or maybe you just need to eat an egg here and there. Whatever the case, keeping your vitamin D levels up leads to more happy sunrises.