Vitamin D is one of the most useful nutrients we have at our disposal for improving our overall health and well-being and yet it’s the last thing anyone thinks of when their having issues with their health.
Approximately 70% of the US population has a vitamin D deficiency and sadly this is almost never diagnosed. These stats are quite alarming if you consider the role this vitamin plays in the human body, for starters it helps control the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body, which are necessary for keeping your bones and teeth healthy, and helps the cells all over your body to communicate properly.
The bottom line is that we need vitamin D and lots of it if we want to keep ourselves and our family healthy but the big question is what can we do to make sure we’re getting enough of this essential vitamin?
A good place to start is to get tested. Vitamin D must go through several processes in your body before your body can use it. The first transformation occurs in the liver. Here, your body converts the vitamin to a chemical known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D.
The 25-hydroxy vitamin D test, also known as the 25-OH vitamin D test, is the best way to monitor your levels. The amount of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in your blood is a good indication of how much vitamin D your body has. The test is simple and involves drawing blood either from a vein for adults or a finger prick for children and infants.
Eat foods with Vitamin D in them
Fish is a good option for getting this essential vitamin from food, this is because not many foods contain vitamin D naturally. Foods that do provide it include fatty fish like tuna, mackerel and salmon. Fortified foods with it include some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk and cereals. You can also eat beef liver, cheese and egg yolks.
Spend some time in the sun
Good old fashioned sunshine is one of the best sources of this vitamin but be sure to err on the side of caution with this one. The amount of vitamin D produced from the time you spend exposing your bare skin to the sun is dependent on a number of factors including the time of day and where in the world you live so speak to a medical professional about how much time you should be spending in the sun to get the most value for your health.
Stock up on supplements
Taking supplements is a great way to get this vitamin into your body if you can’t get enough sunlight, or if you’re concerned with exposing your skin to the sun. According to the Vitamin D council, Vitamin D3 is the best kind of supplement to take because it’s the type of vitamin D your body produces in response to sun exposure. For most people, this vitamin is easily absorbed in the body and you don’t need to worry about what time of day you take it or whether you take it with meals making it a simple solution for giving your body the vitamins it so desperately needs.
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