Natural Vitamin D Sources
Posted on Friday, May 31st, 2013 at 2:35 pm
Recent studies have shown that more and more people are being diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency. This key nutrient helps maintain normal levels of phosphorous. It also aids in the absorption of calcium to keep your bones strong and in good shape. Newer studies have shown that it may even help fight off critical illnesses and autoimmune diseases. While taking a daily vitamin D supplement is one way to up your intake, there are easy, natural methods you can take to ensure you’re hitting your daily recommended amount:
The interesting thing about vitamin D is that it’s actually a hormone and not a vitamin. The hormone is made in your body when you are exposed to sunlight. The easiest way to get a little dost of vitamin D is to spend a little time outside. Keep in mind that most sunscreens block your absorption of vitamin D. Spend around 20 minutes with your skin exposed and then lather up with the sunblock to keep your skin protected.
As far as food goes, salmon contains the highest amount of vitamin D. In fact, half a fillet of sockeye salmon has more than twice your recommended daily allowance. Wild salmon contains more vitamin D than the farmed varieties. Other fish high in vitamin D include Pacific rockfish, light tuna, sole, and flounder.
Mushrooms are another great source of vitamin D. Certain varieties have more than others. For example, shiitake mushrooms contain more of D’s than a white mushroom. If you aren’t particularly fond of mushrooms on their own, try chopping them up and adding to your favorite pasta sauce. Talk with a nutritionist to learn more about which mushrooms will help you reach your daily goal.
Eggs & Pork
For meat-eaters, eggs and pork offer a little dose of vitamin D. Two large eggs include about one tenth of your daily value. Look for eggs from free-range chickens to avoid additional hormones. Pork ribs are another delicious D-rich food. A single serving includes about one seventh of your daily value. Keep in mind that not all pork is equal. A slice of ham, for example, includes barely any D vitamins.
As far as foods rich in vitamin D go, ricotta is towards the bottom of the spectrum. However, when compared to other cheeses, it’s the highest. Plus, ricotta is absolutely delicious and versatile in many Italian dishes and pizzas.