Today marks the first day of December. The days are getting colder and shorter as time goes on. Unfortunately, the sun will be setting at 4:29 p.m. today (crazy right!?). With darkness descending upon us at such an early hour, it can be hard to get enough Vitamin D. This can pose to be a problem. Getting enough vitamin D is essential to one’s health, happiness, and wellbeing.
All About Vitamin D
In case you fell asleep during your nutrition class, here’s a little refresher for you. vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps your body maintain minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. It also helps your body absorb calcium, the nutrient responsible for building and maintaining strong bones. Vitamin D improves brain power and also reduces inflammation. Studies even show that increased consumption of vitamin D can ward off depression. Research has found that low vitamin D intake is correlated with having more fat accumulation in muscles.
How Much Is Enough?
For individuals 19-50 years old, the current recommended dietary allowance is 600 IUs.
Best Sources of Vitamin D
Unfortunately, very food foods are naturally high in vitamin D. Among the best sources are fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. However, fortified foods such as milk, cheese, and ice cream (YAS!) provide most of the vitamin D in the American diet.
Top 8 Foods with Highest Vitamin D Levels
- Cod liver oil (1 tbsp.) = 1,360 IUs
- Swordfish (3 oz.) = 566 IUs
- Salmon (3 oz.) = 447 IUs
So as these winter months draw upon us, make sure your body is getting enough of this vital nutrient!
Written by GUADS staff member Angelina with contributions from oxygenmag.com and the National Institutes of Health