Known as the sun shine vitamin, Vitamin D is well known. Most people know that we need to expose ourselves to sunlight to get it but what does it do for us?
Vitamin D is a component in many functions in our body including but not limited to: making our bones stronger, supporting our immune system, and regulating blood sugar. It’s important to note that Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium and magnesium; however, it’s more effective at increasing the absorption of calcium. Calcium and magnesium compete with each other for absorption and because of that if you are supplementing with calcium and Vitamin D you may become deficient in magnesium.
If we take out fortified food from the equation, it’s difficult to get your daily intake of Vitamin D from food alone. Some seafood, eggs, and a couple types of mushrooms are your best bet if you’re looking to increase your Vitamin D intake with food. Making sure you get at least 15 minutes of unfiltered sun light throughout the day will help insure you’re body is producing the Vitamin D it needs. However, the further away from the equator you live the less direct the sunlight is and the less Vitamin D you’ll make. Also, the darker your skin the less effective your skin is at making Vitamin D. Adjust your sunlight time accordingly to where you live, time of year, and skin pigmentation.
The recommended daily intake varies for age. For children 0-1 year it’s 400 IU, for adults 1-70 it’s 600 IU, and for adults over 70 it’s 800 IU. Many people will have to supplement to be able to attain that much. Look for Vitamin D3 if you feel you need to supplement. The Tolerable Upper Intake is 4,000 IU; however, the research I’ve done for a breastfeeding mama who doesn’t want to supplement her baby but provide enough through her breast milk is 6,400 IU a day. Please do your own research and discuss it with your pediatrician and personal general practitioner before consuming that dose.
So get out in the sun and eat your mushrooms!