The rays of sunlight are limited, during winter months, but that is not an excuse to slack up on your vitamin D. “Vitamin D has emerged as a star supplement, because of its many nutritional benefits for men, women and children,” according to Dr. Rovenia Brock, renowned nutritionist and author.
In fact, a vitamin D deficiency could put you at risk for other things: osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and other cancers, to name a few. And, three-quarters of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, according to a 2011 article in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
According to Brock, “Vitamin D plays a key role in the proper absorption of calcium for strong bones and teeth and has been shown to support colon, breast, prostate, ovarian, heart and colorectal health.”
But, with so many Americans ingesting below the optimal levels of Vitamin D, what is the best way to counteract this growing public health issue?
Recognizing that vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are major public health concerns for both children and adults in the United States, vitamin D supplements can help. Vitamin D supplements are available in two forms: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. The D3 form is more active than the D2 form and a better choice when choosing a supplement.
“Perhaps the most striking example, of a widespread deficiency, is that of vitamin D. After years of studies and cases have linked vitamin D deficiency with a number of health risks, formal recommendations have been made by government agencies to advise a higher daily intake of 1,000 units(IU’s) of vitamin D,” says Dr. Stephen Holt, founder of the Holt Institute of Medicine.
An effective way to make sure that your family gets enough “D,” is to include fortified foods and beverages.
Fortify Your Life:
Milk: In the 1930’s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved of fortifying milk, with vitamin D, in an effort to stave off rickets, a softening of the bones. This move effectively wiped out the disease and vitamin D has been a staple, in milk, ever since.
Cereals: You can almost double your “D” by adding milk to a fortified breakfast cereal. Most cereals offer 40 IU-60 IU per serving.
Orange Juice: OJ is in the “hot seat” right now, but by sticking with an organic orange juice, you can increase your daily vitamin D by 140 IU.
The Natural Way:
Salmon: Salmon tops the chart as a D-licious source and a 6-ounce sockeye fillet contains nearly 900 IU of vitamin D.
Other Fish: Other favorite fish sources include 6-ounces of light tuna, canned in oil, which offers about 460 IU and Atlantic or Pacific halibut at 367 IU.
Eggs: Eggs are an excellent source of natural vitamin D. They deliver up to 44 IU per large egg and are 15% lower in cholesterol than previously thought.
“Western society is constantly on the go, and people are eating food that is deficient in all vital nutrients,” says Dr. Stephen Holt, founder of the Holt Institute of Medicine.
And, though his words may be true, that is no excuse to skip the sun’s harmful UV rays, and get your daily dose of “D” through your healthy eating plan.
“Living Well…one healthy step at a time”