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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 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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