Want to keep your teeth and bones strong? Then you want to pay extra attention to vitamin D and ensure to have it in your daily diet. Vitamin D has also been shown to lower our risk for cancer, upwards of 150,000 cases according to Cedric Garland, a doctor of public health. One of the best ways to get vitamin D is directly from sunlight; this is due to how our bodies produce the vitamin from the exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
With the increase in concern for skin cancers and wanting to protect our skin from sun damage and burning, the amount of sunscreen we utilize has caused our vitamin D levels to plummet. I myself am very fair skinned, but I still make sure to allow my skin time outdoors to soak up the sun’s beautiful rays in limited quantities, ensuring not to burn or over expose myself.
Deficiencies in vitamin D are most commonly muscular weakness and weak bones. The disease that we are mostly familiar with associated with vitamin D is osteoporosis, where an individual will have very fragile bones, which can result in bone fractures.
The recommended daily intake by the National Osteoporosis Foundation is 400-800 IU for adults younger than 50 and 800-1000 IU for adults older than age 50. You should talk to you doctor to understand what levels are best suited for you and can be tested to monitor those levels as well.
In addition to the sun being a great way to increase your vitamin D levels, food is also an ideal source. Examples are:
- Cooked salmon 3.5oz – 360 IU
- 1 whole egg – 25 IU
- Cooked mackerel 3.5oz – 345 IU
- Canned sardines 3.5oz – 270 IU
- Soy milk – 120 IU
You can also look for products such as juices and cereals that are fortified with vitamin D. While they won’t contain as much of the vitamin as whole foods, they will certainly help add to the levels needed by your body.
View the entire vitamin guide: