Low Vitamin D – Could it be Me?

Ever wonder why you feel more energized after a week or even a few days in the spring sunshine? Could be that it’s related to the body’s conversion of sunshine to vitamin? Yes! Vit D is a natural remedy to fatigue and overall tiredness.

Vitamin D – called the “sunshine vitamin” because the body naturally makes it when the skin is exposed to strong sun rays – helps the body maintain optimum energy levels, strong bones, cardiac and brain function.

Do you ever forget where you put those car keys? How about your purse or cell phone? Low levels of Vitamin D can worsen mental function and memory. Uh oh did I forget to send that birthday card?

Vitamin D deficiency has become a common problem for many people. A deficiency means a low level of vitamin D in your body. A blood test is necessary to check your level. And, the best time to test is now, as the long winter draws to a close.

While sun exposure is a natural way for the body to get vitamin D, eating certain foods can also help. Most of the Vitamin D in our diets comes from fortified foods such as fortified milk and dairy products, cereals and juice. There are just a few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D-like egg yolks, and some oily fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring.

Quiz: What food is grown under ultraviolet light to produce more Vitamin D? This food can be used to provide 100% of your daily value of vitamin D?

It is the Mushroom….in 1-1/3 cups you can get all of your Vitamin D needs for one day.

The third source of Vitamin D is in supplements. When considering the addition of a supplement it is important to discuss with your trusted healthcare provider to determine what is best for you. Your healthcare provider can evaluate based on you blood test the most effective staring dose and re-evaluate effectiveness. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 600 IU per day and that increases to 800IU for adults over the age of 70. Many providers encourage high doses for supplements and they are often sold in 1000 IU or 2000 IU.

Remember that the revised Nutrition Label can be used to find out how much Vitamin D you are getting in the foods you eat

Information adapted from May 2018 Fresh Conversations which is sponsored by Milestones Area Agency on Aging.

Blog provided by: Elise Klopfenstein RD, LD, CDE


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