You’ve probably heard about the importance of Vitamin D in maintaining strong and healthy bones later in life. The vitamin aids in the body’s production of calcium, which ultimately helps to fortify your skeletal structure. But researchers are finding that Vitamin D is even more important to your long-term health than once thought.
According to WebMD, regular intake of Vitamin D can not only help to prevent osteoporosis or osteomalacia, but it may also be an important part of reducing your risk for type 1 diabetes and cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, ovaries, esophagus and lymphatic system. A physician from Boston University School of Medicine even went as far as to call Vitamin D, “one of the most potent inhibitors of cancer cell growth.”
Making Vitamin D a significant part of your diet may also help to lower blood pressure, diminish the impact of rheumatoid arthritis, reduce the chances of developing multiple sclerosis and lower the risk of heart attack.
How Do I Get Vitamin D?
So you know that you need Vitamin D but where can you get it? Well, the sun is a good place to start. Regular and healthy exposure to natural sunlight stimulates the body’s production of Vitamin D. But of course, the sun doesn’t shine everyday. And even when it does, you may not have a chance to get out and enjoy it.
Vitamin D supplements are also a good way to go. According to WebMD, a study of women taking a daily dose of Vitamin D via supplement revealed that subjects were 40% less likely to develop multiple sclerosis than their non-supplementing counterparts.
A Vitamin D Diet
Of course, another thing you can do everyday is maintain a diet of foods that are rich in this essential vitamin. Fortunately, your options are many, starting with that oft-recommended super-food, salmon. Good Housekeeping says that half a fillet of sockeye salmon has almost twice as much Vitamin D as we require in a given day. Grill, bake or broil a cut of salmon to get your daily-recommended dose of D and then some.
Though it isn’t quite on the level of salmon, tuna is also rich in Vitamin D. According to Good Housekeeping, you can get one-third of your daily-recommended Vitamin D from a can of tuna in oil. A can of tuna in water gets you about a quarter of what you need, as does a serving of canned sardines.
If you prefer the classics, then a nice cold cup of whole milk is for you. A glass of this traditionally recommended Vitamin D source accounts for about one-fifth of what you need in a day. Fry up a few eggs to go with your milk and not only do you now have breakfast, but you are also starting out the day with a healthy supply of this essential vitamin.
Other great sources include certain cereals, some varieties of mushroom, and certain fortified dairy products like yogurt or ricotta cheese. One of the best things you can do is teach yourself how to read product labels at the grocery store. These will tell you exactly how much of the daily recommended Vitamin D you’re actually getting.