Vitamin D: Benefits, food sources, recommended amounts, and risks

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We all know that calcium strengthens our bones. However, we may not know that vitamin D helps our body to absorb calcium properly. Apart from boosting calcium absorption, vitamin D also prevents our body from being affected by different diseases, and it improves our immune system too. And during this COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to keep our immune system balanced. Read on to know the vitamin D benefits, sources, and risks.

Recommended Vitamin D Per Day

Typically, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally available in few foods. An adult person needs to intake 10-20 micrograms or 400-800 IU (International Unit) of vitamin D per day while it is 10 micrograms or 400 IU for the children.

Benefits of Vitamin D

Usually, we don’t care much about vitamin D intake, but it has some surprising benefits.

Reduce the risk of affected by flu

A 2018 review suggests that some studies have found that vitamin D can work against the influenza virus. Therefore, it may fight the seasonal flu. Some study shows that vitamin D can prevent COVID-19 and defend any kind of serious symptoms.

People with low vitamin D levels may have the chance to get infected in the upper respiratory tract. Hence, vitamin D can work against COVID-19 in two ways. Firstly, it works as a catalyst to increase the natural defense of our body, which actively prevents viruses and bacteria. Secondly, it can stop exaggerated inflammatory responses, which can cause severe illness top some COVID-19 patients.

Fight against depression

Research has found that Vitamin D can play an important role in fighting depression. In one study, it has been proved that people with depression saw a significant improvement after vitamin D consumption. However, the study used vitamin D supplements instead of natural sources. But, the result should be the same either way.

Boost weight loss

Adding vitamin D to your diet would boost your weight loss progress. According to a study, people who take calcium and vitamin D supplements are able to reduce more weight and without supplements. The extra vitamin D consumption can suppress appetite intake. While it works on reducing weight, vitamin D can also work on heat diseases.

Strengths the bones

Vitamin D is known for its bone-building powers. As we have mentioned earlier, it boosts calcium’s work and eventually powers up the normal mineralization of the bones. According to the medical experts, calcium actually cannot work properly without the D’s help. Hence, the importance of Vitamin D is undeniable.

Strengthen muscles

Besides the bone-building abilities, Vitamin D also helps strengthen the muscles. In other words, lack of vitamin D may lead to the risk of having weak muscles. This is mainly important for the elderly person. Hence, anyone aged 70+ is recommended to take more than 20 micrograms of vitamin D each day.

Local Food Sources of Vitamin D

It is evident that, like other vitamins and minerals, Vitamin D is highly essential for our body. Hence, you need to consume enriched vitamin D enriched foods.

Egg Yolks

Egg yolks are the easily accessible source of vitamin D. Besides; it also contains other nutritional ingredients. Each egg yolk may contain 18-39 IU of vitamin D. However, this might not be high in amount but, multiple consumptions may fill your daily needs. You can include some eggs in your daily diet chart to make your body grow and fetch the benefits of vitamin D.

Milk

After egg, milk is another commonly known source of vitamin D. Apart from vitamin D; it contains phosphorus, calcium, and other vitamins as well. However, many of us do not know that milk can help us to get the desired amount of vitamin D each day. That is why packaged dairy milk producers add vitamin D words in their commercials and packages.

Milk can provide around 130 IU of vitamin D for sure, which can easily serve the desired amount of vitamin D needed for our body.

Mushrooms

If you are a vegetarian, Mushrooms will be your only plant-based source for vitamin D. It is enriched with vitamin d2, which is highly essential for our body. The locally grown mushroom can give you 130-450 IU of vitamin D. The good thing about adding mushrooms to your daily diet is that they can provide you up to 2300 IU of vitamin D. So, mushrooms are the savior for vegetarians.

Shrimp

If you are not comfortable eating eggs or mushrooms, shrimp can be a good source for you. A regular size contains 152 IU of vitamin D, which can easily meet up with your vitamin D intake. Besides, they have minimal fat, and thus it reduces any inevitable side effects. So, seafood lovers can easily add shrimp to their diet list.

Beef Liver

Although excessive consumption of beef may cause multiple health issues, it is a great source of vitamin D. You may take beef liver once a month or week to meet your vitamin D requirement. Generally, beef liver contains 149 IU of vitamin D, which is good enough to meet the required vitamin D for your body. However, if you have health issues that are related to beef liver, you may take other foods we have mentioned above.

Orange Juice

If you don’t want to eat any of the items we have mentioned above, you can try drinking orange juice. You can get 142 IU of vitamin D from one glass of orange juice. So grabbing a glass of orange juice in your breakfast will definitely serve the desired amount of vitamin D. You may find orange juice fortified with vitamin D in the super shops.

Possible Side Effects of Vitamin D

You may love the foods we have mentioned earlier and consume excessively. Therefore, you may face some side effects due to additional consumption. You may face bone pain, kidney stones. Frequent urination, muscle weakness, weight loss, vomiting, frequent thrust, and disorientation. So, we should refrain from eating excessive amounts of vitamin D.

It is widely known that sunlight is a source of vitamin D, and it is totally natural. Whenever your skin is exposed to sunlight, it creates vitamin D from the cholesterol. The ultraviolet B rays from the sun hit the cholesterol available in our skin cells which provides the desired energy for vitamin D synthesis. Hence, exposing your skin to the sun is necessary if you are unable to have vitamin D from food intake.

  • Benefits, food sources, recommended amounts, and risks
  • Vitamin D

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