Are you getting Enough Micronutrients?
Are You Getting Enough of This Disease-Fighting Vitamin?
The amount of vitamin D in your blood is proven to be a good barometer of overall health — and may even lower your risk for certain diseases. Here’s how to be sure you’re getting your daily D.
By Debbie Strong
Don't Miss This
Sign Up for OurDiet and NutritionNewsletter
Thanks for signing up!You might also like these other newsletters:
Experts debate over exactly how much vitamin D we need in our diets — but one thing’s for certain: We need it.
Known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the body and is necessary for bone health as well as many cellular and immune system functions. Numerous studies have found that a deficiency in the vitamin may increase your risk of many chronic diseases; in the past month alone, scientists published two separate studies that found that people with low vitamin D levels are more likely to die from cancer and heart disease and to suffer from other illnesses.
RELATED: Pros and Cons of Vitamin D [Infographic]
One of the studies (published in BMJ) found that adults with lower levels of the vitamin in their systems had a 35 percent increased risk of death from heart disease, a 14 percent greater likelihood of death from cancer, and a greater mortality risk overall. The other study published found “suggestive evidence” that high vitamin D levels protect against diabetes, stroke, hypertension and a host of other illnesses.
If your doctor suggests improving your vitamin D levels — or you simply want to in hopes of warding off health issues — it’s possible to do so naturally and without supplementation. (Indeed, the team of researchers responsible for the second study also determined that there was no highly convincing evidence that vitamin D supplement pills affected any of the outcomes they examined.) Here are the best ways:
- Eat more fatty fish.Salmon (especially wild-caught), trout, mackerel, tuna, and eel are all good sources of the vitamin, and they offer plenty of heart-boosting omega-3 fatty acids as well. Aim to fit fish in at dinner at least once a week, such as this simple grilled salmon dish that’s perfect for spring.
- Drink fortified milk or OJ.Most types of cow's milk in the United States are fortified with vitamin D, and one eight-ounce glass will give you roughly one-third of recommended daily amount of vitamin D, 600 international units (IUs). Several orange juice brands are fortified as well.
- Say yes to the yolk.Egg yolks have gotten a bad rap in the past because they’re full of cholesterol. But yolks also provide a host of important nutrients — calcium, iron, zinc, folate, and vitamins A, E, and K to name just a few — including 9 percent of your daily amount of vitamin D. (Just don’t eat too many — research has shown that moderate egg consumption of one egg per day does not increase heart disease risk in healthy individuals.
- Step outside.Your body is built to get vitamin D through your skin, which is why exposure to sunlight is the best way to get your D. But because of skin cancer and other risk factors associated with the sun, experts suggest getting only a moderate amount of direct sunlight — like 20 to 30 minutes — each day. Just remember that sitting by a window won’t work; you’ve got to step outside to reap the benefits (and while you’re at it, why not make it a brisk walk to burn calories and boost cardio health?).
- Let your ‘shrooms get sun too.Just like sunlight can help your body make vitamin D, one of the most versatile veggies around can perform the same feat. Sliced and dried mushroom, including wild ones, will soar in vitamin D when placed outdoors under the sun — or placed under UV light for even more vitamin D.
Video: Are you Getting Enough Phytonutrients?
Harm in Hospitals Seldom Reported
Is Your Makeup AgingYou
Alexander Wang x Adidas Originals Spring 2019 Collection Drops
How Much Is Too Much Magnesium Sulfate
How to Maintain Humidity in a Pet Hermit Crab Habitat
How to Decorate Patio Doors
How to Treat a Dog for Rabies
5 Natural Remedies For All-Day Energy
How to Find Your Political Standpoint
This is how Dua Lipa, Karlie Kloss, Dua Lipa and Shay Mitchell stay in shape