Looking for the best natural sources of vitamin D? Here are the top vitamin D foods and other supplements worth taking into account. But first.
One of the top natural sources of Vitamin D is sunlight, but during the autumn and winter months, when the sun is too weak to help synthesize Vitamin D, the next best thing to do is go for Vitamin D foods, or natural sources of Vitamin D, as dietary supplements.
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a steroid hormone produced in the skin as a result of direct sun exposure (without sunscreen), but it is also assimilated through the walls of the intestine from food. In winter, when the sun is not always visible in the sky, it is necessary to fill our plate with natural sources of vitamin D or supplement on vitamin D.
The Health Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D’s key role is the assimilation of calcium from food into the bones and teeth. When vitamin D is too low, the assimilation of calcium in the intestine is limited, and the body “gets” calcium from the bones, which eventually become brittle. This can lead to bone deformities, also known as rickets in children, and increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture in the elderly.
Vitamin D is needed to help the body produce sex hormones which in turn support ovulation and hormonal balance. Together with vitamin A, supports respiration at a cellular level. But there are many other very important roles that vitamin D plays in the body.
- healthy bones
- strong teeth
- calcium & phosphorus metabolism
- balance stomach acids
- strong nervous system
- positive emotions
- support muscle activity
- strong heart
- boosted immune system
- supports the circulatory system
- supports lead elimination from the body
- osteoporosis prevention
Vitamin D Against COVID-19
Vitamin D is also extremely important for the immune system because it plays an important role in the development of white blood cells and T lymphocytes, which are a principal defense against uncontrolled inflammation, and against viral infection in general. It also ensures the production of interferons (substances that neutralize viruses and have good results in skin cancer treatment, etc.).
Studies have shown that vitamin D can protect from viral infections, including COVID-19, while other studies have revealed that the inflammatory response is higher in COVID-19 patients who are deficient in vitamin D, for whom the chance of having severe disease after infection with SARS Cov-2 are also greater.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms
- tooth loss
- dental abscesses
- lack of muscle strength
- swallowed knees, ankles, and hand joints
- agitation and irritability
- nervous system disorders
- sleep disorders
- depression and anxiety
18 Best Natural Sources of Vitamin D
Amongst the best natural sources of vitamin D, first and foremost we need to mention sunlight. Yes, sunlight kills viruses and bacteria and therefore helps heal wounds and ulcers that have been exposed to the sun. But primarily, when sunlight hits the skin, we start to produce enough Vitamin D to boost the immune system against viruses and bacteria.
Did you know that certain diseases are more common in regions of the world where there is less sun, ie in the countries near the North Pole and the South Pole? Populations living in higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere have more cases of diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, breast and prostate cancer, fractures, psoriasis, than those living closer to the equator.
The most important natural sources of Vitamin D
* Fish oil – 250μg/2 tsp
* Smoked herring – 25μg/100 g
* Mackerel – 24μg/100 g
* Wild salmon – 12μg/100 g
* Raw anchovies – 11μg/100 g
* Sardines – 9μg/100 g
* Tuna – 6μg/100 g
* Liver – 1μg/100 g
Example: 23 g of smoked herring or 60 g of wild-caught salmon.
The most important VEGAN natural sources of Vitamin D
* Mushrooms (porcini)
* Whole grains – 3μg/100 g
Daily Recommended Vitamin D
Children, adolescents, and adults need between 5 to 10 micrograms a day, noting that for those who are growing up, the need may exceed the limit of 10 micrograms daily. These values are for people who practically never expose themselves to the sun, being obliged to cover their vitamin D needs exclusively through food and supplementation.
If you go out in the sun for 20 minutes a day or allows the natural light of day to come in contact with a large part of the surface of your skin, you require only half to two-thirds of the amounts mentioned above. Always go for natural sources of Vitamin D and natural supplements of Vitamin D.
Important! Excess vitamin D supplementation can lead to hypercalcemia, or excess calcium in the bloodstream, which can even negatively affect the kidneys, the heart, the lungs and the blood vessels and even lead to atherosclerosis.
Best Way to Soak Vitamin D from the Sun
The necessary amount of sun exposure to produce vitamin D is 1/4 of the time it usually takes you before you get a slight redness of the skin. That may be anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes a day. Doing this 2-3 times a week between 11:00 to 15:00 in the afternoon is enough to fill up your vitamin D needs. For instance, if your skin becomes slightly red after 30 minutes in the sun, then 10 minutes, 2-3 times a week, will be enough. People with brown skin need more sun than those with white skin to fill their Vitamin D needs.
Do not use any conventional sunscreen during this time, because these products block the production of vitamin D and can even cause skin cancer.
Read Also: 15+ Quick Home Remedies for Sunburn
According to research in the book “China Study“, animal proteins we consume (meat, dairy, eggs, etc.) create an acidic environment in the blood, which blocks the activity of vitamin D and therefore, during sunbathing, follow a lighter diet, rich in vegetables, olives, rice and a little fish, fresh fruit and vegetable juices and magnesium and selenium supplements.
Proper and prudent exposure to the sun has many advantages besides vitamin D production. It strengthens the immune system, improves the mobility of swollen joints, alleviates facial paresis, soothes conditions of the uterus and its appendages, and it makes us happy. Being happy is one of the best prevention from any viral conditions, including COVID-19.
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We sure hope that you found just enough natural sources of Vitamin D here to help you out. Remember that the lighter you eat, the better you feel, so don’t overlook the vegetal natural sources of Vitamin D, and most importantly, enjoy the sunshine.