Vitamin D is essential for your body to absorb calcium which strengthens your bones and muscles. Most of your vitamin D requirements are met by the sun exposure, however some foods rich in vitamin D can help you if you are not getting enough sun exposure.
In fact your body produces Vitamin D when it gets Sun exposure. A 30 minutes of Sun exposure is enough to produce required vitamin D in your body.
Vitamin C and Vitamin D are necessary for calcium absorption.
There are a large number of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C, but to get vitamin D from food your choice is really Limited.
The very first step is to start getting 15-30 minutes of sun exposure. If you are a dark skin person than you require much longer sun exposure as dark skin doesn't absorb sunlight as effectively as the light skin does.
Avoid the 9:00am - 4:00pm sun exposure due to excessive ultraviolet exposure.
How do you Know You Need Vitamin D
If your bones pain, head sweats, muscles ache and your skin has become dark, then you are most likely deficient in vitamin D. If you also feel exhausted soon, remain ill and feel depressed also, then you certainly need extra Vitamin D.
In addition if you are above 50 and obesse than your risks are increased.
It is not just bones alone, but lack of enough vitamin D can cause certain kinds of cancers such as breast, colon and Prostate cancers, heart diseases, depression and weight gain.
According to the institute of medicine following are your vitamin D requirements of you are normal
Age 1-70: 600 IU or 15 micrograms
Age 70+: 800 IU or 20 micrograms
If you are deficient then doctors will recommend much higher doses for you to get the above levels.
You will also have to take supplements and eat foods that can give you enough vitamin D.
Foods Rich in Vitamin D
You can get vitamin D from 4 different types of sources.
1. Vegetarian sources of Vitamin D
If you are a vegetarian when your choices are really restricted to very few selected food items.
Milk - Milk and milk products such as milk, yogurt and cheese provide you a lower amount of Vitamin D.
Mushrooms - White mushrooms also known as white button mushrooms are good source of Vitamin D. Other mushrooms also can be helpful.
Soy Products - Soy products like Tofu are good sources of vitamin D. Make tofu an important food source in your diet.
2. Animal Fat
Ham - ham is a good source of quick vitamin D, but be careful as ham is rich in cholesterol and sodium both can cause heart diseases.
Eggs - Egg yolk contains vitamin D. Once again, if you are a heart patient be careful.
Many types of dishes are some of the best sources of Vitamin D. These dishes are also rich in many other nutrients such as omega 3, proteins and calcium and phosphorus.
Herring, salmon and sardines - These fishes are your best bets for Vitamin D and other nutrients.
Cod Liver Oil - It comes in capsules and is considered a supplement. One teaspoon can provide you 75% of your DV.
4. Fortified Foods
Cereals - Next time you buy your cereals check the label and go for cereals fortified with many nutrients including vitamin D.
Orange Juice - Lots of packed orange juice brands are fortified orange juice with vitamin D. Check the label.
Margarine - If you use margarine then buy a vitamin D margarine. If you don't use it then don't bother. Margarine is generally not considered healthy.