Vitamin D is not only necessary to maintain strong bones. While this fat-soluble vitamin - known as the "vitamin of the sun" because it occurs naturally in the body when the sun's ultraviolet rays are absorbed into the skin - is vital for bone growth and a deficiency of this could lead to problems. Bone-related (such as fractures and osteoporosis), it also has other essential health benefits.
"Every type of tissue and cell in the body has receptors for vitamin D or its metabolites," explains Julie Upton, co-founder of Appetite for Health. "It is known to help regulate about 2,000 genes that control everything from appetite to the death of cancer cells, or the regulation of the immune system."
In fact, studies conducted over the past two years have found that lack of vitamin D could increase the risk of chronic headaches and bladder cancer. On the contrary, adequate amounts of this vitamin have been linked to improved heart health (which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke) and protection against colds and flu.
Since spending more free time outdoors, under the sun's rays every day, is not always possible, many people rely on supplements to get the daily dose of vitamin D. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends 600 IU (International Units) per day, however, some medical experts say that adults can tolerate up to 4,000 IU per day without experiencing adverse effects.
So, although only some foods have significant amounts of vitamin D, you can increase your vitamin D intake through your diet, Upton adds.Advertising - Continue reading below Cod liver oil
This oil rich in nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids tops the list of foods rich in vitamin D, apart from clear supplements, since one tablespoon contains 1,360 IU. If you don't like the taste of this fish oil, try spraying it on a salad or adding it to a smoothie.
Some brands add a touch of lemon, orange or mint flavor to improve the flavor.Some mushrooms
Mushrooms are the only source of vitamin D that come from agricultural products, says the Mushroom Council. Producers expose this low-calorie, high-fiber food to ultraviolet (UV) light to increase their vitamin D levels.
The mushrooms that absorb ultraviolet light the most: crimini, portobello, maitake and white mushrooms.
(Check the food label to see if you mention your exposure to vitamin D or UV rays).
- Chicken and mushroom skewers
- Mushroom rice with mushrooms
If you are a meat lover and you are trying to add more fish to your diet, look no further. Available both fresh and frozen, this low-calorie fish (85 gr contains approximately 146 calories and 566 IU of vitamin D) is highly valued for its fleshy texture. In addition, the swordfish has a soft and sweet taste, it only needs a few minutes to cook (usually less than 10 minutes) and is quite versatile, since it can be fried, baked, broiled or barbecued. You just have to keep in mind that you should consume it in moderation, since the swordfish contains high levels of mercury.Yogurt
Although it varies according to the type or brand, yogurt (rich in protein) enriched with vitamin D can contain approximately 80 IU (170 gr serving). However, many of the enriched versions are flavored, which means that they are also rich in sugars. Read the nutrition label to choose the healthiest option.
- Desaand ones healthy with yogurt
- Yogurt jelly with pomegranate
- Salmon with beets and yogurt sauce
This popular cold water fish is widely known to be an excellent source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, as well as proteins, minerals and vitamins, one of which is vitamin D (a portion of 85 gr. , contains 447 IU).
Fried, grilled, smoked, baked, broiled or sauteed, it is recommended to choose wild or frozen salmon.
- Salmon burger with pistachios and guacamole
It is one of the largest fish in the sea. Halibut has a mild and light taste, it contains healthy doses of potassium, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, zinc, magnesium and vitamin D, with approximately 200 IU in an 85 gr serving. Although darker meat fish are the ones that contain the most omega-3s, control cholesterol levels and improve symptoms of depression, halibut is still a good choice for a food rich in essential fatty acids.Milk
Whole, semi or skimmed, a cup of milk enriched with vitamin D can contain between 115 and 124 IU. Keep in mind that non-dairy alternatives, including rice milk, coconut milk and almond milk, may or may not provide a substantial amount of vitamin D depending on the brand and the product.
- Rice with milk and berriesTuna
A serving of 85 gr. of this fish (canned) is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, phosphorus and vitamin A. This lean protein is also a good source of vitamin D, as it contains 154 IU per serving. Choose canned natural tuna for less calorie intake and more omega-3, according to Berkeley Wellness.
- Tuna tartar with pineapple
- Tuna with citrus
One cup of refreshing orange juice can contain up to 137 IU of vitamin D. However, not all juices are created equal: read the product label to make sure that it does not come from concentrate and that it is enriched with vitamin D (and very probably calcium).Sardines
These small (and economical) canned fish with oil, bring many health benefits. Rich in vitamin B-12 that stimulates the immune system, anti-inflammatory selenium, healthy bone phosphorus and vitamin D: only two sardines contain 46 IU. Add them to a salad or take them with a cookie for a quick snack.
- Stuffed kale sardinesVeal liver
Although veal liver is not one of the most appetizing foods, an 85 gr serving of this high-quality protein contains 42 IU of vitamin D. In addition, this nutrient-rich meat is rich in iron (for cellular health), zinc (to regulate immune function), vitamin A (for eye health) and folate (for DNA repair). Onion liver, who signs up?Eggs
We talk about the yolks. That's right: that little ball of sunlight inside an egg contains 41 IU of vitamin D.
While eggs have been considered unhealthy over the years, this protein-rich food has proven to be an indispensable food.
But keep in mind that all animal products, including eggs, can raise cholesterol levels due to their saturated fat content. Check with your doctor if you need to reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol.
- Ten recipes with eggsCereals
A breakfast cup of cereals enriched with vitamins and minerals will contain about 40 IU of vitamin D. However, cereals made with whole grains probably have even a higher dose of vitamin D. Add a serving of milk and you will double your vitamin intake. D.
Via: Woman's Day US