Vitamin D is essential for everyone, it is a fat-soluble vitamin that is required for our body. It is an important nutrient that helps in maintaining and processing vital aspects of our body. Vitamin D is also considered a hormone that helps in improving immunity and maintaining the regulation of hormones. It aids in calcium absorption which is needed for bone health and spine.
Nowadays absorption of vitamin D and its importance is not taken seriously by today’s generation. Today not everyone soaks themselves up in the Sun or indulges in a food filled with the nutrient of vitamin D. That is why there has been a certain percentage of vitamin d deficiency in the world’s population claimed by research(R).
In this article, we will mention some of the productive ways to increase Vitamin D absorption in your day-to-day life and see how your health can be improved because of the same.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that is responsible for increasing the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate in your body. It is absorbed directly by sunlight or a hormone that our body develops. It also helps in maintaining various vital functions in your body like maintaining the health of the bones, teeth, and muscles.
Vitamin D is also referred to as “calciferol” which is a fat-soluble vitamin in your body. Studies suggest that vitamin D also helps in the prevention of various types of illnesses, such as diabetes, depression, cancer, and heart disease. Also prevents certain diseases in children.
As calcium is one of the prime building blocks of the bones, vitamin D is said to be necessary for calcium absorption and bone health. A person needs to consume this vitamin in the range from 600–2,000 IU per day, which is based on the U.S. National Academy of Medicine’s recommendations(R).
Productive ways to increase vitamin D absorption
1. Being out for the Sun
Vitamin D is also known as “the sunshine vitamin” because the sun is one of the best sources of this nutrient and whenever someone says vitamin D it is directly associated with the Sun as it is the easiest way to absorb it. A source also stated that sun absorbed vitamin D may circulate double as long as vitamin D from food or other supplements (R)
Vitamin D holds a type of cholesterol in your skin that functions as a forerunner to the body. When the UV-B radiation from the sun is exposed to this type of compound, it gets converted into vitamin D. Although, the amount of vitamin D your body can make depends on other factors as well.
Sunlight also benefits your skin- Spending time in the sun to produce vitamin D can help people with darker skin tones because darker skin has more melanin, it is a compound that can restrain the production of vitamin D. Also helps in improving skin conditions when you soak in vitamin D for sometime in the morning. As you grow older, the production of vitamin D in your skin also becomes less efficient.
Do you know sunscreen which is used on your skin can also prevent absorption of vitamin D it may not completely block but to a certain extent it does(R). While it is true that overexposure to the skin may aid in skin cancer, a little amount of time may not hurt. Also, the best time to absorb the sunlight is in the morning. Spending 15-20 mins in the sun can be sufficient although it depends on factors if you are able to absorb enough amount in your body and skin.
2. Include Egg Yolk in Your Diet
One of the best sources of vitamin D that you can add to your diet is Egg yolks which you can easily add to your diet. Like many other natural food sources, yolks have variable vitamin D content. Chicken feed can also affect the content of vitamin D in eggs. You also found most of the protein in egg yolk in the white portion. Typical egg yolk contains 37-40 IU of vitamin D, these levels depend on the content of sun exposure.
It is important to use the whole egg and not just the white since you get vitamin D from the yolk directly. You can include it in your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even desserts to consume regularly. If you take an average serving of 2 eggs of 60g weighted eggs you may gain about 8.2mcg of vitamin D from it.
3. Eat Fatty Fish and Seafood
The richest natural food sources of vitamin D are fatty fish and seafood. Research says a 100-gram serving of canned salmon can provide up to 386 IU of vitamin D — about 50% of the RDI(R). Depending on the type and species the exact vitamin D content of kinds of seafood may vary to an extent. There are many kinds of fish and seafood that are rich in vitamin D including shrimp, sardines, tuna, mackerel, oysters, and anchovies.
Also, The vitamin D present in this seafood is absorbed better by the body, as compared to plant-based foods. Many of these seafood is also rich in heart health as they have omega-3 fatty acids in them.
4. Consume Fortified Food
The process known as fortification includes adding nutrients to staple foods, since there are certain foods that naturally contain high levels of vitamin D, this nutrient is often infused in them. These are added so that there can be an increase in the intake of these nutrients. Before understanding, you must know that the availability of vitamin-D-fortified foods varies by country, and the amount may also differ by different brands and types of food.
Some of the common goods that are processed through fortification are plant-based milk alternatives like soy, almond, and hemp milk, orange juice, cow’s milk, certain types of yogurt, ready-to-eat cereals, tofu, and many such. Always check its ingredients list whenever you are unsure whether a particular food has been fortified with vitamin D or not.
5. Consume More Mushrooms
Mushrooms are the only and best vegetarian source of vitamin D. Do you know that mushrooms can make their own vitamin D? just like us humans even mushrooms make their own vitamin D when they are exposed to UV light. Mushrooms are said to produce D2 or ergocalciferol which is a form of the vitamin, whereas, we humans produce vitamin D known as D3 or cholecalciferol. Studies suggest that D3 may raise levels more effectively and efficiently than D2(R).
The content of vitamin D depends on the type of mushroom, there are certain varieties such as wild maitake mushrooms that provide as much as 2,348 IU per 100-gram serving. Almost 300% of the RDI. Due to their exposure to sunlight, wild mushrooms usually have more vitamin D than commercially grown types.
Although, you also have an option to purchase mushrooms that are treated with UV light. It is better to always take care to carefully identify wild mushrooms or it best is to purchase them from a trusted seller such as a grocery store or directly from a farmers market to avoid exposure to poisonous varieties.
6. Stay Stress-Free
Stress can never be good for your body. When you feel stressed, your body releases hormones and it affects your gut which can lead to irritable bowel movement which directly affects your intestine. As you know vitamin D is absorbed in the intestine and thus, your health can be greatly affected by its consumption. Therefore stay stress-free and allow your health to be better. Also, eat healthy food which can boost levels of vitamin D in your body.
7. Vitamin D Supplements
The best way to ensure absorption of Vitamin D is to consume vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D exists in two main biological forms are D2 and D3 which are also known as ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol(R). Usually, D2 comes from plants and D3 from animals. Studies also suggest that D3 is significantly more effective at raising and maintaining overall vitamin D levels compared to D2, so you can choose a supplement that has this compound of vitamin D in it.
It’s best to choose supplements tested for purity and quality by a third party and it is beneficial to purchase high-quality supplements that have been tested individually.
Supplements are the best way if you do not obtain enough vitamin D from food or sunlight. Having your vitamin D levels checked before supplementing is the best way to pick the appropriate dose.1,000–4,000 IU is considered a good amount to be consumed by the user through the supplement daily to absorb enough vitamin D vital for the functioning of your body.
8. UV Lamp
Did you know that there are lamps that emit UV-B radiation? They help to boost vitamin D levels for your body or through food. When your skin is exposed to UV-B radiation from the sun, it’s able to produce its own vitamin D.
If you live in a place where there is limited sun exposure due to geographic reasons or time indoors, it is best to go for a UV lamp. These lamps mimic the action of the sun and prove to be beneficial.
Earlier UV radiation was mostly used therapeutically for various skin conditions for a long time. Although, recently it has been proved as a way to improve vitamin D levels as well.
One needs to be careful while using these lamps, just like the sun too much exposure from these lamps can also burn your skin. Hence it is recommended to limit your exposure from the lamp to no more than 15 minutes at a time.
Vitamin D is very important for our body but do we really consume it enough? No, many of us are not aware of the benefits of vitamin D and hence not everyone consumes or absorbs it daily for the better health of their body and also hormones. Hope this post will help you in ways that can be effective to your body to consume or absorb vitamin D. Thank you for reading.