Vitamin D… That’s the stuff that comes from the sun, right? What many people don’t know is that a healthy vitamin D level can also be maintained through food.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. What does that mean? Fat-soluble vitamins get stored in fat molecules and that’s how they travel and are distributed in the body. So if you’re getting your dose of vitamin D, it’s best to take it with or after you’ve eaten something containing fat. Other fat-soluble vitamins are vitamin A, K, and E.
Let’s talk about the benefits of vitamin D. It can:
- delay the aging process
- stimulate cell death in some cancer cells
- help prevent cancers such as kidney cancer, leukemia, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer
- stimulate bone growth
- aid in healing of broken or fractured bones
- help prevent osteoporosis
- alleviate migraines (if taken with calcium)
- prevent tooth decay
- alleviate asthma
A vitamin D deficiency can cause:
- muscle pain
- muscle weakness
- hearing loss
Let’s go back to the part where vitamin D can help alleviate migraines, when taken with calcium. The absorption of calcium is increased with the presence of vitamin D. So this not only can help migraines, but can also help bones absorb calcium better, for stronger bones. Vitamin D also aids in the absorption of vitamin A.
So what prevents your body from absorbing vitamin D?
- mineral oils (they bind to vitamin D and hinder its absorption)
- alcohol (depletes your body of the vitamin D that is present)
- magnesium (these vitamins compete, rather than work together)
As all things, vitamin D is good in moderation. Excessive vitamin D in the body can cause diarrhea (ew, who wants that?), muscle weakness, nausea, and excessive thirst.
Whew, that was a lot of lists. Let’s get to the important part already… where vitamin D is found in food!
Vitamin D is found naturally in:
- cod liver oil
- sunflower seeds
- beef liver
- some brands of yogurt
- some brands of orange juice
For more information of vitamin D and how much is in certain foods, check out this great article.
All is good in moderation, but knowing what’s in your food is important! Why is it healthy for you? What should you eat it?
Pretty soon, you’ll be all shaped up to kill in food trivia 😉
Disclaimer: This blog does not provide medical advice, rather is simply an informational tool to broaden the readers understanding of various health topics. Seek the advice of a professional physician with questions regarding medical conditions or treatments. Relying on information read on this website is at your own risk.