I am low on Vitamin D. What foods can help with this?

Your question is a good one. I had my vitamin D levels tested and it turns out, I am also low! My MD started me on an oral vitamin D regimen and I have been trying to consume foods rich in this important nutrient. Vitamin D is both a hormone that our bodies make and a nutrient that we consume. There are various reasons that people have low vitamin D levels and they include: lack of sun exposure, race, overweight, and age. Being deficient in vitamin D may increase risk of some cancers, heart disease, osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis. There is some debate about how much vitamin D we need each day. Researchers currently suggest that children and adults have a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of ~600-800 IU of vitamin D a day.

There are two forms of vitamin D: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants and vitamin D3 is synthesized by our skin when exposed to ultraviolet light. Foods can be fortified with either vitamin D2 or D3. There are many dietary sources that contain vitamin D. Examples include: cod liver oil, mackerel, salmon, tuna, milk and fortified foods such as cereal, orange juice and soy milk. You could include a fortified cereal topped with milk for breakfast, enjoy a great tuna salad sandwich for lunch and serve a fantastic grilled salmon for dinner. Despite these foods being high in vitamin D, many health experts agree that people will not be able to meet their RDA with food alone, and that supplementation may be necessary. Be sure to stay in touch with your doctor in regards to re checking levels and possible supplementation.

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