Vitamin D is a vital nutrient required by the human body to build and maintain a healthy bone structure by helping in absorbing calcium and phosphate. It is also known as the ‘sunshine’ vitamin because its main source is the sun. The recommended daily vitamin D intake is around 600 IU (International Unit) which is needed for a healthy body. However, with changing lifestyles and long office hours, it is not possible to get this required amount from the sun alone. In winters when there are a fewer and shorter sunny days, it is hard to cover the requirement with the sun alone. The other main source that you can acquire this Vitamin from is your diet. Through small changes in your diet and inculcating food with high levels of Vitamin D, you can cover up your daily requirements.
Increase fish intake:
Fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna contain a good amount of Vitamin D. Try to include as much of these as possible in your diet through regular meals and even salads. Cod liver oil is also known to be a rich source of the vitamin.
Shrimp is another source of Vitamin D. You can include shrimp in your diet through various recipes, either raw, grilled or boiled. Ten medium sized shrimp pieces contain up to 90 IU.
Plain milk itself is a rich source of Vitamin D. A glass of milk a day not only supplies you with a good amount of the Vitamin but also provides you many other nutrients like calcium. Products made from milk like yogurt and cheese serve the same purpose. A bowl of frozen yogurt after dinner as a dessert can help you cover the IU. Sprinkling cheese over pastas and pizza gives you bonus Vitamin D.
The decreasing levels of Vitamin D has led to increase in products which have fortified Vitamin D. These products are a good and delicious source of fulfilling your requirements. Fortified cereals are commonly available and come in different flavours you can choose from. If you start a day with a bowl of cereal and milk, you have already gotten your Vitamin D levels a boost. Fortified milk and juices are also available.
Vegetable do contain a certain amount of vitamin D but are not enough to cover your daily need. Mushrooms are known to be a good source among vegetables. Fried and sauteed mushrooms can be a good addition to the dinner table.