What Foods Are High In Vitamin D?
Some of the best food sources include fortified milk or yogurt, canned tuna packed in water, canned sardines packed in oil, fatty fish, egg yolks, cheese, cod liver oil, and beef or calf liver.
Studies have shown that vitamin D can prevent bones from getting too thin, brittle or malformed.
Some of the benefits of vitamin D have been associated with decreasing inflammation, reducing the risk of allergies, sleep apnea, decreasing dental cavities, and helping with erectile dysfunction.
A lack of vitamin D and calcium may lead to osteoporosis (weak bones) which in turn can lead to bone fractures.
It may also reduce knee and hip pain.
Newer studies have linked a vitamin D deficiency to the most common illnesses in our society today such as cardiovascular diseases (heart failure, stroke), respiratory infections (pneumonia, urinary tract), depression (suicide), multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, and type 2 diabetes.
It Comes From Where?
There are several ways to get vitamin D.
Exposure to the sunlight, from the food you eat, and vitamin supplements.
The sun exposure helps our body produce vitamin D naturally.
If you are out in the sun at least 10-15 (20-25 is better) minutes twice each week you should be alright.
But if you can’t get enough exposure to the sun or your body cannot produce enough vitamin D for some reason (older, dark skin) then you need to find other ways to get the vitamin.
Fish, beef liver and cheese can be a good source for most people but not for a vegan.
We can find the vitamin in certain mushrooms (Portobello), fortified milk (soy, almond, rice), fortified orange juice, supplements, and fortified cereals.
How Much Do We Need?
The Institute of Medicine recommends 600 IU a day, but that has been highly disputed in recent years. Some recommend as high as 10,000.
Is There Ever Too Much?
Vitamin D is fat soluble so our bodies can have a hard time getting rid of it if we are taking too much.
If you are taking 40,000 IU each day for an extended period of time (months) then you are at risk for what is known as vitamin D toxicity.
Most people don’t come close to this level so there is nothing to worry about.
If it is a concern a simple blood test will reveal your vitamin D level.
As a Vegan Should I Be Worried?
You can easily find What Foods Are High In Vitamin D and include these in your diet.
If that is not possible and you spend most of your time indoors or your winters are dark with very little sun then you will need to take precautions to get enough vitamin D.
If you decide to take a supplement you can take either the D2 (always plant-based) or the D3 (some are plant-based).
Check the label and use the recommended dosage or ask your doctor.