So although I DO like to think everyone needs a lil’ bit of ME in their life…that’s not the necessary D we’re talkin’ about today…it’s Vitamin D that’s the word.
What is It?
Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous, which have various functions in the body, especially for the maintenance of healthy bones. Vitamin D is also an immune system regulator. There are many studies in process that are studying the effects of Vitamin D on Multiple Sclerosis, brain function, maintaining a healthy body weight, among many others.
How Do I GET Vitamin D?
While in the summer months ‘The D” is easy to come by from the sun, but only a few common foods are good vitamin D sources. Current daily recommendation: 200 to 600 IU, but some doctors propose 1000-1500 IU per day. Below are some common foods listed in International Units (IU) per serving. :
- Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon 1,360
- Salmon, cooked, 3½ ounces 360
- Mackerel, cooked, 3½ ounces 345
- Tuna fish, canned in oil, 3 ounces 200
- Sardines, canned in oil,1¾ ounces 250
- Milk, vitamin D fortified, 1 cup 98
- Margarine, fortified, 1 tablespoon 60
- Egg, 1 whole (vitamin D is in egg yolk) 20
- Liver, beef, cooked, 3½ ounces 15
- Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce 12
D is Reason to Move to the Equator (or less dramatic, take a vacation)!
If you live in the tropics and can expose your unprotected (aka no sunscreen) skin to two sessions of 15 minutes of sunlight each week your body will naturally produce adequate amounts of vitamin D. The following factors may reduce your body’s vitamin D synthesis:
- If you live far from the equator, your sunlight exposure will be less during many months of the year (like NYC right now!)
- Cloud cover
Good news for Snookie! You CAN get vitamin D from tanning beds. The ultraviolet rays are what spurs the production on Vit D in your bod. Common sense is KEY. Two 15 minute sunscreen-free sessions per week will create enough D, so be smart! If your body can’t produce enough vitamin D because of insufficient sunlight exposure (or an aversion to looking like the JWow or Paulie D) you will need to obtain it from foods (above) and or supplements.
Supplements contain the nutrient, but most use D-2 — that is far less potent than the more desirable D-3. Multivitamins typically contain only small amounts of D-2 and include vitamin A, which offsets many of D’s benefits. As a result, pills might not raise vitamin D levels much at all.
Take time to learn about your bod. Be smart, use common sense and try to get your D!
Sending you love! Have a fantastic weekend…’see’ you Monday!
P.S. Make sure to shoot me any questions or thoughts you have at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can see you GETTING (tan &) FIERCE!