Our bodies require some nutrients. Vitamin D is one of the major nutrients that play an important part in our body. Calcium and phosphorus are necessary for bones and teeth. These minerals are absorbed by vitamin D. Vitamin D has many functions in our body. Our immune system is also made stronger by it. Any inflammation in our bodies can be reduced by it. It helps to protect from different diseases such as osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease etc. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. If you often feel pain in your bones go for a vitamin D test. The vitamin D test price in Pakistan ranges from 1000 to 4000. This test will indicate any weakness in your bones. Vitamin D can be obtained from various natural sources. Let’s discuss some of them one by one:
Sunlight is the most available and natural source of vitamin D. Vitamin D3 is synthesized by our body by skin exposure to sunlight. D3 is an inactive form that is then converted to vitamin D by the kidneys and liver. The formation of vitamin D in our body depends upon the area of skin exposed. It also depends on some other factors such as skin color, location, season, etc. UVB rays are more intense during the daytime. It is better to get vitamin D from sunlight during day time. However, some harmful sun rays can also cause damage and skin cancer. Using sunscreen, a hat, or any protective clothing before going out is better.
2- Fatty Fish
Salmon, sardines, tuna, etc. are fatty fishes that contain vitamin D. The recommended daily intake of vitamin D depends upon the age. For adults, it is about 600 IU and for children up to 12 months, it is about 400 IU. Fatty fishes like tuna, and mackerel contains about 200-500 IU in each serving. Omega-3 fatty acids are also present in fatty fish that help to improve brain function, and heart health and help to reduce inflammation.
3- Cod Liver Oil
This oil is extracted from the liver of codfish. Supplements of cod liver oil are also available. Vitamin D, vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids are present in them. Almost 450-1350 IU of vitamin D are present in one tablespoon of cod liver oil. It is advised to take cod liver oil in moderate amounts because high doses of vitamin A can be toxic.
One of the natural sources of vitamin D is mushrooms. Vitamin D2 can be synthesized by mushrooms. This is a less potent type of vitamin D. A minimum serving of mushrooms can provide up to 2000 IU of vitamin D2. Edible mushrooms are mostly grown indoors that do not have much access to sunlight. Therefore, it contains less amount of vitamin D. Some kinds of mushrooms such as portobello mushrooms provide vitamin D when treated with UV light.
5- Egg Yolks
Many nutrients like vitamin D, protein, fats, etc. are present in egg yolk. 20 IU of vitamin D is present in egg yolk. Mostly vitamin D is present in egg yolk. Therefore, consuming only the white part will not satisfy the amounts of vitamin D.
6- Dairy Products
Fortification also helps in providing vitamin D. some dairy products are fortified with vitamin D. These products include cheese, milk, yogurt, etc. These fortified products have more nutritional content. 100 UI of vitamin D are present in one cup of milk. For people who do not spend much time in the sunlight, fortified products are a rich source of vitamin D for them. Avoid consuming saturated fats and prefer low-fat or non-fat varieties.
7- Beef Liver
Several essential nutrients and vitamins are present in beef liver. Vitamin D is also present in this nutrient-dense food. A minimum serving of beef liver provides about 50 IU of vitamin D. People with high cholesterol levels consume beef liver in moderate amounts. It has high cholesterol in it which can cause several problems.
8- Fortified Cereals
Some fortified cereals are also available. They have more nutritional value. However, before using these products read the label carefully. Always prefer cereals that are rich in fiber and low in sugar. A cup of fortified cereals contains at least 40-60 IU of vitamin D.
9- Sunflower Seeds
Several essential minerals and nutrients are present in sunflower seeds. Vitamin D is also present in them. It contains 13 IU of vitamin D in one cup. They are a healthy snack option. However, we should not rely on these seeds for vitamin D.
Vitamin D is a nutrient that is very important for our body. As we know that sunlight is the basic source of it. However, we also discussed some other natural sources of vitamin D as well. Such as mushrooms, fortified products, vitamin supplements, etc. If you do not spend time in the sunlight, you can get vitamins from supplements. But always consult your healthcare provider before using any supplements.