Vitamin D is one of the most vital vitamins for our general health, thus the fact that vitamin D deficiency is still prevalent in the United States is concerning.
Vitamin D deficiency is thought to affect many Americans. In fact, according to a 2019 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 18.3 percent of participants had a serum (blood) level of vitamin D that was categorized as being at risk of inadequacy, based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2014, a project overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to some studies and estimates, the percentage is substantially greater. According to Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System in Ohio, 42 percent of the US population is vitamin D deficient as of 2018.
Vitamin D deficiency can result in lowered immunity to infections, as well as health problems such as bone and back pain, fatigue and muscular pain, colon, and prostate cancers, heart disease, depression, and weight gain.
According to Signe Svanfeldt, a prominent nutritionist at popular nutrition app Lifesum, simple dietary changes can help enhance vitamin D consumption and sustain health.
In the United States, 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day is suggested. Signe Svanfeldt, a leading dietitian, has revealed the best four meals to increase your vitamin D consumption.
- Fatty Fish: Fish with a high fat content, such as salmon, trout, and mackerel, are excellent sources of vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D in salmon is roughly 12.5 micrograms per 100 grams, however the amount of vitamin D in fish is mainly determined by the diet of the fish.
- Egg yolks: Egg yolks, with roughly four micrograms of vitamin D per 100 g, are the next best source of vitamin D for those who don’t eat fish.
- Mushrooms: While plant-based sources of vitamin D are poor in vitamin D, mushrooms exposed to UV light tend to have a good quantity of vitamin D.
- Fortified dairy / plant-based milks: Fortified foods, such as dairy products and plant-based alternatives, are added to boost vitamin D levels.
Signe Svanfeldt, a nutritionist at Lifesum, says that adding simple scrambled eggs or cold smoked salmon to your dinner will help you get more vitamin D and “live longer, healthier, and happier lives.”
Svanfeldt recommends having fatty fish in your diet at least once a week, as well as making eggs a regular component of your breakfast, as they are high in vitamin D and proteins.
She says: “Chopped mushrooms in your stews, it will increase both the taste and your vitamin D intake.”
In addition to food, Svanfeldt recommends that we exercise or run outside to increase our vitamin D intake from the sun.
She adds: “When our skin is exposed to the sun, our bodies can convert sunlight to vitamin D, which then can be stored in the liver until needed.”
Image Credit: Getty