Besides playing an important role in the growth and development of bones and teeth, vitamin D is also known to boost immune function. Vitamin D also helps calcium be better absorbed in your gut. The human body can’t produce Vitamin D. So it’s necessary to get it from outside sources. There are a lot of ways to improve Vitamin D to help fight the harmful effects of the environment. And with that, here are 7 best ways to get/improve Vitamin D.
Vitamin D production starts when sunlight hits our skin. Thereby activating Vitamin D synthesis.
Once in the body, Vitamin D must undergo processes in order to be “activated” and available for the body to use. The first process occurs in the liver and the second in the kidney. That is why it is important to support other organs as well.
Most people get an adequate amount of vitamin D. However, some are deficient in it either due to Lack of exposure to sunlight, not enough intake or problems with its absorption. Have your vitamin levels checked by your provider as a start. If found deficient, your provider might recommend one or more of following effective ways to boost low levels of vitamin D.
1. Spend More Time Outside
Sunlight converts the inactive form of vitamin D present in the skin into an active form.
Therefore, adequate sun exposure is the key to get the necessary vitamin D your body needs to perform optimally. Moreover, experts say that getting 15-20 minutes of sun exposure per day without sunscreen would be enough.
However, the benefits of sun exposure may not be possible for everyone (e.g., certain seasons or those living in certain regions). Some people will need to find ways to increase Vitamin D in the winter. It will be also quite difficult for people with advanced age, and those with a dark complexion (skin pigment blocks sunlight). Additionally, excessive sunlight is a significant risk factor for skin cancer.
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There are other ways to improve Vitamin D like doing the next tips below.
There are foods that are known to improve Vitamin D. Eating vitamin D rich fish is one of the safest and most effective ways to get vitamin D. Interestingly, fresh fish contain more vitamin D as compared to cooked or tanned fish. The richest sources include;
- Cod liver oil: 1 tablespoon 1,360 IUs
- Salmon: 3 ounces 477 IUs
- Swordfish: 3 ounces 566 IUs
- Tuna fish: 3 ounces 154 IUs
3. Egg yolks
A variety of egg dishes are prevalent in many breakfast, lunch, and dinner servings and eating them in any form is by far the easiest way to get enough vitamin D. Certainly, it is important to know that egg white is a pure protein and doesn’t contain vitamins while vitamin D comes from egg yolk. A 100 grams of egg yolk contains 218 IUs of vitamin D.
4. Certain Mushrooms
There are mushrooms that grow in the dark and are deficient in vitamin D. However, some specific brands of mushrooms like Dole’s Portobello are grown in the sunlight and are packed full of vitamin D. When exposed to sunlight, this species has the ability to produce vitamin D. It is perfect for vegetarians, and its 3 ounces provides you 400 IUs of vitamin D.
5. Vitamin D-fortified Foods
Vitamin D fortified foods are an excellent way to improve your vitamin D levels. To get maximum benefit from these foods, make sure that your gut is working correctly and there is no issue with absorption of vitamin D. You can take these fortified foods in consideration.
- Fortified milk: 42 IU/100 g
- Fortified orange juice:137 IU/100 g
Additionally, below are more fortified foods with an added concentration of vitamin D.
- Fortified grain products and pasta: 90 IU/100 g
- Fortified cereals: 350 IU/100 g
6. Vitamin D Supplements
If you’re vitamin D deficient, your provider will most likely recommend you a vitamin D supplement. Moreover, many studies suggest excellent results in supplementing your diet with vitamin D. Just make sure the supplement you are buying is of high quality and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients.
People with certain medical conditions that interfere with nutrient and vitamin absorption are often found deficient in this important Vitamin. Studies show that the use of UV-emitting bulbs, lamp, and beds as recommended by their provider can help increase their levels.
These are the best ways to get/improve Vitamin D. Certainly, it will help speed up absorption without getting too much or too little of it. Above all, don’t forget these tips when you start making your plans to help combat vitamin D deficiency.