Vitamin D, just like any other vitamin, is beneficial for the human body for its growth, development, metabolism, and overall health. Vitamin D, also known as calciferol or the sunshine vitamin, regulates the amount of phosphate and calcium in the body. These nutrients are essential for healthy bones, muscles, and teeth. It is mainly significant for the growth, calcium absorption, and mineralization of bones. It also plays a significant role in the functioning of primary systems, like the nervous, digestive, respiratory, immune, and circulatory system. The deficiency of vitamin D can cause severe health risks like rickets, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, asthma in children, and cognitive impairment in adults. Vitamin D is naturally present in different food, so it is easier to shun the possibility of vitamin D deficiency. The main natural sources of Vitamin D are as follows:
1- Oily Fish:
Oily fish or oil from the fish not only rich in omega- 3s fatty acids but are amongst the most enriched sources of vitamin D. One serving of fatty fish can cover one day’s vitamin D requirement. It is tried and true that 100 g of salmon can provide 386 IU of Vitamin D. And the required amount of Vitamin D per day for the human body ranges from 400-800 IU. It means that one serving of Salmon can closely cover the daily requirement. Some of the oily or fatty fishes are:
2- Egg Yolk:
An egg is another good natural source of vitamin. While albumen is rich in proteins, the yolk is rich in vitamins and minerals. The daily dose of an egg/s can provide an abundant amount of vitamin D to the body. On average, one egg contains 35 IU of Vitamin D. It means that you can cover about 100 IUs with three eggs per day. But the amount of Vitamin D in the yolk differs with respect to feed and sun exposure to the sun of the hen that laid the egg. A chicken’s feed abundant in Vitamin D can result in up to 6000 IU of vitamin D per egg. Thus, the more healthy eggs you pick, the more vitamin D abundant they will be.
Mushrooms are the only plant source of Vitamin D. Mushrooms form vitamin D2 in the presence of sunlight which is beneficial to raise the level of vitamin D. They do not rich in Vitamin D but are a good source for vegetarians. A 100 g of mushroom can provide 8 IU of vitamin D. On the other hand, wild mushrooms are rich in Vitamin D as they can provide up to 2,300 IU per 100 g.
4- Cod Liver Oil:
It is a dietary supplement derived from the liver of the codfish. Cod liver oil is an excellent source of vitamin D, as it can provide up to 480 IU of vitamin D per 4.9 ml of oil. It is also rich in vitamin A so be careful, as extreme consumption of vitamin A can be toxic. Those who do not like to eat oily fish can have this oil as a substitute.
The final natural source of vitamin D is sunlight, in fact, Ultraviolet light. Human skin can form Vitamin D3 in the presence of sunlight. The steroid( dihydro cholesterol) in the human skin is broken down by the tanning rays or UVB light, to convert into vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is more effective than vitamin D2 as it helps to boosting immunity, increasing mood, losing weight, and improving heart functioning.
In a nutshell, Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for the health of the human body. Its deficiency can pose serious threats, so it must be supplied to the body through natural and supplementary sources.
Also Read: How Long Does Vitamin D Take to Work?