Tag Archives: Vitamin D

Food sources

As the Temps Rise, So Does Your Need for Vitamin D

Poor Vitamin D! It was a perfectly respectable vitamin until the Urban Dictionary perverted it into a sexual euphemism. Now one can barely mention the vitamin without the occasional titter from those familiar with what it means to “put the D in someone.” In fact, even Marks and Spencer has come under fire for their claims of “Putting the D In Bread,” sparking a social media frenzy by those who can’t keep their minds out of the proverbial gutter.

The more mature among us will know vitamin D as a valuable nutrient for managing calcium in the blood, and assisting with intercellular communication. You may also know that this vitamin is primarily derived from the sun. However, if the sun is not an option, due to inclement weather, or simply lack of exposure, there are some foods that may be more consistent options.

Tuna Fish
Canned tuna is probably the cheapest and most accessible source of seafood, and a 3 oz. contains 236 IU of vitamin D: more than half the daily requirement. Sandwich or salad, tuna’s got the D.

Eggnog

Eggnog
There is no wrong time for eggnog. One glass contains 25% of the RDA of vitamin D, thanks to its large egg content. However, you may want to keep the consumption down to a minimum to avoid a sugar overload.

Fortified Dairy
Although most dairy does not contain significant amounts of vitamin D, the federal government began to fortify milk in the 1930’s due to a widespread deficiency in the nutrient. A single cup of fortified milk will get you 34% of the recommended daily value, while a 6-ounce container of fortified yogurt will give you one fifth of the RDA.

Mackerel
If you’re looking to pick up some Vitamin D, mackerel is quite the catch. Not only does one four ounce portion contain an entire day’s worth of vitamin-D requirement, it also has lower levels of mercury and is at less of a risk of overfishing than other fish with a similar nutritional profile. Mackerel is also rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and protein. Catch it if you can!

Portobello mushroom

Portobello Mushrooms
Portobello mushroom crops are exposed to additional lighting that boosts the amount of vitamin D by a whopping 3,000 percent. The increase of vitamin D intake due to lighting has also been shown to be a cost-effective way of lowering depression.

Smoked Whitefish
Kosher deli connoisseurs will know this fish as a great accompaniment to bagels, but they may not know that half a cup of this brunch staple contains enough vitamin D to get you through your day, It is also naturally low in calories and fat, and rich in vitamin D, protein, and B vitamins.

Soy Milk
You may be drinking soy milk to address issues of lactose intolerance, but if its fortified, you are also getting a daily dose of D. Most brands contain about one-quarter of the daily requirement.

Orange juice

Fortified Orange Juice
You may know orange juice to be a valuable source of vitamin C, but with fortification it can also be a significant source of vitamin D, with one cup exceeding a quarter of the daily recommended intake.

How are you getting your D? Let us know! We love to hear it, especially the dirty stuff!

Signs And Symptoms Of A Vitamin D Deficiency

woman exposing to sun

Do you know that there is a theory that the reason the dinosaurs died out is because an asteroid blocked the sun and prevented the lizards from producing enough vitamin D to support them? Supporters back this with the evidence that only nocturnal rodents survived dinosaurs and sunlight certainly weren’t an issue for them.

Vitamin D is crucial for maintaining strong bones and assisting with the distribution of calcium throughout the body. Many people who have a Vitamin D deficiency are not aware of it because they assume that consuming foods with Vitamin D, such as milk, will guarantee that the body gets an adequate amount. However, very few foods have the needed levels of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is an irregular vitamin. It is a steroid hormone and its primary source is not food, but the sun.

Signs You May Have A Vitamin D deficiency
Although the only way to know for sure whether you suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency is by blood testing, there are some symptoms that may be early indicators.

Your Skin Is Dark
According to Vitamin D researcher Dr. Michael Horlick, your skin pigment provides natural sunscreen and the more pigment you have, the more difficult it will be to obtain Vitamin D. That means that African Americans need 10 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of the vitamin as a light skinned person and are at greater risk of Vitamin D deficiency.

You Feel Depressed
Serotonin, the chemical in your brain that keeps you happy, increases with exposure to light. A 2006 study showed that patients with low levels of vitamin D are 11 times more likely to be depressed than those who obtained adequate amounts.

You Are 50 Or Above
As skin ages, it doesn’t produce as much Vitamin D as it once did. Furthermore, kidneys are less efficient in changing Vitamin D into a form which is usable by your body. Vitamin D deficiencies are common in people 50 and over.

You Are Overweight Or Have High Muscle Mass
Since vitamin D is fat soluble it sinks or gets absorbed by body fat. If you are overweight, your body is going to need to collect more sun than the average person to compensate for the quick absorption rate. People with high body weights caused by muscle mass are similarly affected and should also make sure to get adequate sun exposure.

Achy Bones
Many people who visit their doctors in hopes of seeking relief for achy bones and fatigue may be misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, when they are actually suffering from a lack of Vitamin D. It may be that the lack of vitamin D is interfering with the entrance of calcium into the collagen in the bones, resulting in the actual cause of bone pain.

Gastrointestinal Trouble
Since Vitamin D is fat soluble, a condition that affects the ability to absorb fat may also be responsible for low vitamin D absorption. Common causes are gluten sensitivity, Crohn’s Disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

Treating Vitamin D Deficiency
The optimal amount of daily vitamin D is between 50 and 70 mg. The best way to ensure that you get your recommended dose is sun exposure. Since so many factors, such as age and skin color, influence the optimum amount of sun exposure a person needs per day, Dr. Horlick recommends that , as a general guideline, you should spend enough time in the sun for your skin to turn a very light pink, or about half the time it would take to get a light sunburn. Vitamin D supplements are also available at most drug stores.

The Calcium – Vitamin D Combo Explained

Calcium and vitamin D

It has been said that beauty and is in the bones and, surely, there is truth in this saying  After all, it is the skull that is responsible for the shape of the face,  one of the most valued and obsessed over parts of our body.   Bones also make movement possible, allowing us to perform our all important exercise routines and to walk with ease and grace. Indeed, where would we be without these all-important tenants of the body?  We would be shapeless sacks of flesh.  Imagine how we would look in our jeans!  We should also note that bones are responsible for protecting our vital organs and sheltering our reproductive organs. But, while we are singing the praises of bones, we should also note that, if we want our bones to continue to keep us healthy and beautiful, we need to make sure they get plenty of calcium and, in order to make sure that calcium does its job,  it  needs to be paired with vitamin D.

Calcium is a mineral that is naturally found in foods and is necessary for bone formation and maintenance.  Because our bodies don’t produce this mineral, it is vital that we obtain it from outside sources.  Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium from the stomach, hence the calcium vitamin D combination.  Used together, they can prevent calcium deficiencies and osteoporosis.  So how can we make sure that we are getting enough of both?

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation,  the recommended dosage of calcium for the average adult is between 1000-1300 milligrams daily.  It is generally higher for women over 50.  It is recommended that people get 200- 800 international units of Vitamin D.  You can find both these vitamins in supplement form, but be warned those of you who choose to go this route!!  You may avoid calories, but you will sacrifice benefits.  Synthetic supplements contain chemical binders, toxic preservatives, artificial fillers and even coal and tar derivatives!!  We are far better getting our calcium and Vitamin D from natural sources.  Some of the best food sources of calcium include okra, spinach, collards, kale, soybeans, white beans and OJ.  You can get your vitamin D from fatty fish (like tuna, mackerel, salmon), cheese, egg yolks, and beef liver.  Doctors also recommend exposure to sunlight as a way of getting your Daily Dose of D.

And, this just in!  To give the calcium and vitamin D a major boost, add Vitamin K!  According to Doctor Joseph Mercola, Vitamin K is a vitamin generally used in blood clotting.  However, it has been newly discovered that it can also move calcium around to the proper parts of your body, like your bones and teeth.  Although exact numbers have not been confirmed, it is recommended that a person gets 180 to 200 mgs. of Vitamin K per day.  K can be found in leafy, green vegetables.

So now your set!  You’ve got your calcium for strong bones, vitamin D to make sure the calcium is absorbed and Vitamin K to make sure it gets to the right place.  So go out and get your vitamins and be beautiful!!!