Dubbed the “Sunshine Vitamin,” vitamin D comes naturally from exposure to the sun. It’s also found in a few foods or can be taken directly as a supplement. There are many benefits to this incredible vitamin, and it can help prevent certain illnesses and diseases. A deficiency can lead to a variety of symptoms.
Where Vitamin D is Found
The sun’s rays emit vitamin D, but it is also found in many different foods. You should make sure you’re consuming foods with plenty of this important vitamin every day! The foods and drinks with the most vitamin D include:
- Fortified milk
- Salmon and other oily fish
- Red meat
- Fortified cereals
Not getting enough sunlight or eating enough foods with vitamin D in it can cause vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency can cause a whole range of symptoms, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and worsening asthma symptoms in children. Vitamin D deficiency can be diagnosed with a blood test. Those who are deficient in vitamin D should take supplements, or have a diet rich in this super vitamin.
Regular exposure to sunlight can also help. Those who live in colder climates where you’re less likely to spend time outdoors are more prone to having vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D and Bone Health
Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health. Those who are at risk of developing bone diseases like osteoporosis should have their vitamin D levels checked frequently. Vitamin D is absorbed easier by the body when it’s taken in combination with calcium, so many doctors recommend taking both supplements at the same time.
How Much Vitamin D Should You Take?
Those who spend plenty of time outdoors and eat foods rich in vitamin D likely don’t need any supplements. Those diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency should follow their doctor’s instructions on how much to take. Most people should get 800 IU of vitamin D each day, but those deficient in vitamin D may need as high as 4,000 IU.
Vitamin D is an important vitamin for the body. Eating foods rich in vitamin D, and getting plenty of sunshine can help ensure you don’t become deficient.