Vitamin D is essential for proper absorption of calcium in the body. Vitamin D deficiency can result in calcium deficiency and ultimately lead to bone loss problems like osteopenia and osteoporosis.
The best way to get vitamin D naturally is to expose the skin to sunlight. 20-30 minutes of exposure of the face, arms and a portion of the legs is enough to generate a day’s supply of vitamin D. But poor sunlight in the winter months and a bad lifestyle make it necessary to depend on other sources for vitamin D.
While vitamin D supplements are an option, vitamin D rich foods and snacks are a good way to get the daily recommended dosage. Plants provide one form of the vitamin but the most potent and better assimilated form of vitamin D comes from the animal kingdom.
Commonly consumed food items are fortified by their manufacturers with vitamin D obtained from animal sources. 400 IU of vitamin D is the recommended daily minimum for adults. Here are some ideas for healthy snacks rich in vitamin D.
- Cod liver oil is one of the best vitamin D foods. A single tablespoon of the oil provides 1300 IU of vitamin D. The oil is available in stores with added flavors like lime and orange. Season your salad or greens with a spoonful flavored cod liver oil. And you do not have to bother about getting any more vitamin D for the rest of the day.
- Milk is fortified with vitamin D by most manufacturers. One cup (240 ml) provides about 25% of your daily vitamin D requirements. So have a banana or pineapple milk shake for a vitamin D rich snack. Milk serves another purpose too – it provides plenty of calcium.
- Yogurt is made from milk. 225 mg (1 cup) of yogurt gives you 100 IU of vitamin D and nearly 40% of your recommended calcium dosage. Yogurt also helps with digestion and prevents constipation. It makes a filling snack especially when it is flavored with fruits.
- Cheese made from fortified vitamin D milk can be used for snacking. Make a sandwich or a burger with cheese and greens. A cheese single gives about 5% of your daily vitamin D dosage.
- Egg yolk is high in vitamin D. One egg yolk provides nearly 10% of your daily vitamin D needs. Besides, unlike fortified foods, it is a natural vitamin D food. Use an egg every day to prepare a filling and healthy snack.
Those who are fans of 100% natural food products may not get enough vitamin D in their diet as many of their favorite items may not be fortified. They must get enough sunshine or use sufficient cod liver oil or eggs in their diet.
People who are of the firm believe that vitamins can be gained without consuming the items have very different views about how they see things as healthy or non-healthy because some prefer oil in such cases and view that omega oil supplements benefits the immune system in a much better way than any of the aforementioned food.