This is Part 2 in my series: 4 Anti Aging Super Nutrients and the foods that contain them…
The proper daily dosage (1000mg) of Vitamin D is linked to a vast number of benefits, many of which affect the aging: Preventing cancer, reducing heart problems and fighting inflamation. Its linked to preventing multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes, infection rates and boosting general immune system health. Vitamin D has been marked as essential for preventing diseases. Its a no-brainer that this vitamin makes it into our list of Anti Aging Super Nutrients.
Although there are many foods in the supermarket that have been fortified with a synthetic form of Vitamin D, there are only a select number of foods containing vitamin D in them naturally. Normally, our body takes in Vitamin D in the form of sun-synthesis through the skin. But in our modern times, our actual exposure to the sun is limited. This fact may be a principle cause of many ailments, including depression. For this reason, it is extremely important to have a diet high in Vitamin D or take a Vitamin D supplement.
1. Shiitake & Button Mushrooms:
Surprisingly, the dried versions of shiitake mushrooms are high in Vitamin D. This may be due to the fact that these mushrooms are adept at sucking up sunlight. Shiitake is also rich in B Vitamins like B1 & B2. Make sure that you find mushrooms that have been dried in the sun, not by some artificial means, in order to extract the benefits of high Vitamin D content.
A small, 3½ ounce portion of this Omega-3 rich fish will give you 90% of the recommended daily amount. Currently, the FDA recommends that we eat more of these oily fishes to infuse our bodies with the vitamins and omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA’s) that our body cannot produce on its own.
3. Sockeye Salmon:
A small 3½ ounces portion of cooked salmon will give you 90% of the Dietary Reference Intake for Vitamin D. Make sure to purchase salmon that has been caught from the wild, if not, then sustainably farmed. Salmon eat zooplankton, an excellent source of the important vitamin.
Fish like herring are so high in vitamin D because they are the part of our food chain that thrive on plankton, which is chocked full of the vitamin.
Sardines are one of the best foods containing Vitamin D. One small tin can of sardines will provide you with approximately 70% of your daily needs. These tiny canned fish are also a great source for Vitamin B12, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, protein and selenium.
Again, another fish that makes a habit of feeding on plankton, catfish are constantly taking in minuscule sea life that creates vitamin D from sunlight.
7. Tuna fish:
Eat 3 ounces of tuna daily for 50% of your Vitamin D needs. Fresh, wild-caught tuna is the most nutritious. Remember, eating oily fish can also lubricate the body with “good fats,” providing a host of health benefits to your body, like better memory and brain function.
8. Cod Liver Oil:
If you can stomach the strong aroma, this oil is super-rich in sunlight Vitamin D. This marvelously golden, yet terrible-tasting oil is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Incorporating this oil into your diet will help you increase your bones ability to stay strong and healthy. Because of its high Vitamin D content, cod liver oil has also been shown to prevent osteoporosis in adult, improve brain function and optimize the functioning of the nervous system. What is more, the oil holds 10,000 IUs of vitamin D. One tablespoon of the oil provides more than enough Vitamin D for the day.
Eggs are another food containing vitamin D BUT in small amounts. Eating one egg will provide you with approximately 10% of your daily needs. Look for free-range eggs from a local farm, if possible.
Okay, we know it’s not a food, but daily “doses” of sunshine can seriously up your Vitamin D intake. In fact, this vitamin has actually been referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’. Light hitting the skin from the sun’s rays stimulates the production of this vitamin and hormone. This is great news for those of us that can take a sun-bath daily. But for those of us in colder, cloudier climates, we can up our intake from the foods we eat.
Health Benefits of Vitamin D
There are many reasons to stock up on foods containing vitamin D. Health benefits of the vitamin include:
- The prevention of chronic diseases such as many forms of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension.
- The protection and lubrication of your bones, teeth and hair.
- The regulation of cellular growth and healthy cell activity
- Overall reduction of the inflammatory response, a condition known to cause many chronic diseases, from cancer to diabetes to obesity.
- Protection against adult osteoporosis
- Reduction in the risk of breast cancer in perimenopausal women
- Significant reduction in the occurrence of prostate cancer in African-American men
As I mentioned above, if you are a vegetarian or don’t eat fish, you can still get the same benefits by taking a vitamin d supplement or make sure to get plenty of sun on a daily basis.