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10 Foods Highest In Vitamin D That You Should Include In Your Diet

10 Foods Highest In Vitamin D That You Should Include In Your Diet

Vitamin D – aka “the sunshine vitamin -” is important to our overall health and feelings of wellness. Most people connect vitamin D and sunshine because research has taught us that it is naturally produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3. It can affect as many as 2,000 genes in the body.[1]

Vitamin D has several important functions. Perhaps the most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, and facilitating normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases.

The National Institutes of Health,[2] along with Health and Human Services, has determined the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 600 IUs (15 mcg) for individuals between the ages of 13 and 70. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set the recommended amount at 400 IUs which is slightly lower than other recommendations but still much higher than most people consume daily.

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Vitamin D deficiency is a global epidemic.[3] An estimated 1 billion people do not have adequate vitamin D levels. And 64% of Americans do not get the sufficient amount of vitamin D to keep all of their tissues operating optimally.

Eating foods high in vitamin D is key in maintaining proper levels

Eating foods high in vitamin D is even more critical today than it was years ago. Our modern, indoor lifestyle limits the amount of vitamin D we receive. Even those who do spend lots of time outside still have insufficient levels of this important nutrient due to necessity of having to wear sunblock. Sunscreens do more than just block harmful UV rays it also limits the amount of vitamin that is absorbed by the skin. Because few foods have high amounts of this vitamin – and our limited exposure to the sun – it is critical to maintain a diet that is purposefully chock full of vitamin D rich foods.

10 Foods High in Vitamin D

1. Cod Liver Oil

This is the holy grail of vitamin D. One tablespoon contains 1,360 IUs,  which is more than twice the RDA. Cod liver oil is also a great anti-inflammatory agent and has properties that promote cardiovascular, hormonal, immune, reproductive and neurological health.

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2. Portabello Mushrooms

Portabello mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light contain about 375 IUs per serving.[4] When grilled, that number jumps to 493 IUs per serving. Mushrooms are a great substitute for meat and are an excellent complement to many dishes.[5]

3. Oily Fish

Fatty fish, like tuna, trout, mackerel, and salmon, are rich in vitamin D. This group’s vitamin D content ranges from 760 IUs down to 100 IUs per serving. The oily fish ranking the highest are swordfish, salmon, trout and then mackerel. Besides being a vitamin D-rich food, fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids provide a plethora of health benefits – both physical and mental – and are considered a “superfood” among many nutrition experts.[6]

4. Fish Roe (Caviar)

Besides being fortified with vitamin D (484 IUs per serving), caviar[7] is a source of vitamins and minerals, including omega 3,[8] which helps to promote a healthy nervous, circulatory and immune system. One serving of this expensive delicacy also has an adult’s daily requirement of vitamin B12.[9] Other nutrients included are vitamins A, E, B6, iron, magnesium and selenium.

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5. Orange Juice (fortified)

Orange fortified with vitamin D contains 137 IUs per eight ounce cup.[10] Fortified orange juice also comes packed with calcium and is an excellent source of vitamin C. And with OJ, a little goes a long way.

6. Fortified Breakfast Cereal

Instant oatmeal rates the highest in this category when it comes to vitamin D content. Most brands come in around 342 IUs per serving.[11] Traditional dry cereals are also great sources for packing in a large variety of vitamins and minerals in a single serving. When the cereal is combined with milk, the vitamin D content is further enhanced.

7. Dairy Products

Naturally, milk and other dairy products do not contain high amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential in the process the body undergoes to absorb calcium. It is for this reason, foods that naturally contain calcium, have been fortified with vitamin D. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and margarine all have vitamin D added to enhance the potency of calcium.

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8. Beef Liver

Beef liver is not only a pretty good source of vitamin D,[12] but since it is a storage organ for many important nutrients (vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid), and minerals such as copper and iron, it naturally transfers those vitamins to us when we consume it. Liver is an “organ meat,” and generally speaking, organ meats are between 10 and 100 times higher in nutrients than corresponding muscle meats.

9. Eggs

Eggs are a convenient way to get vitamin D.[13] They’re popular in many breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes. Vitamin D is contained in the yolk of an egg. One large egg contains around 44 IUs of the sunshine vitamin.

10. Dairy Alternatives

For those who are lactose intolerant or have sensitivities to dairy, getting the daily dose of vitamin D may prove to be a bit tricky. Thankfully, dairy alternatives such as soy and almond milk, dairy-free cheese, yogurt and many others have been fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

Maximizing the vitamin D in your food

How we prepare and consume food vastly effects its nutritional benefits and can either heighten or completely nullify certain nutrients.[14] When it comes to preparing foods to preserve their vitamin D content, its important to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Vitamin D is a very stable nutrient in foods. It will not be significantly damaged by most low-heat cooking techniques.
  2. Foods cooked in oil will lose some of their vitamin D content. Eggs, for example, when fried lose about 20% of their vitamin D, compared to only a 10% loss during the poaching process.
  3. The best way to preserve any food’s vitamin D content, based on information from various studies, is to avoid cooking food at higher heats and lengthy baking times.

Vitamin D is vitally important for proper functioning of our bodies and aids in preserving our mental health. A conscious effort must be made daily to ensure your diet includes the appropriate amount of the sunshine vitamin.

Reference

[1] https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/what-is-vitamin-d/
[2] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
[3] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/vitamin-d-deficiency-united-states/
[4] http://www.mushroominfo.com/all-about-vitamin-d/
[5] http://allrecipes.com/recipes/15172/fruits-and-vegetables/mushrooms/
[6] http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/superfoods/Pages/is-oily-fish-a-superfood.aspx
[7] http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/fish-eggs-a-superior-vitamin-d-boost/
[8] )http://www.besthealthmag.ca/omega/
[9] http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Vitamins/Food-Sources-of-Vitamin-B12.aspx
[10] http://www.reuters.com/article/us-vitamin-d-idUSTRE64667K20100507
[11] http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-008102000000000000000-w.html?maxCount=165
[12] https://chriskresser.com/natures-most-potent-superfood/
[13] http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/10-foods-containing-vitamin-d/
[14] http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=110

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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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2. Stress Relief

Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Improved Sleep

Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

4. Appetite Control

Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

7. Mosquito Repellant

Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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8. Pain Relief

While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

9. The New Anti-Viral

Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

10. Improved Cognitive Function

Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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11. Money Saving

With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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