Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for the human body, which plays an important role in the maintenance of bone health and in various metabolic processes.
More and more, we pay attention to what we eat, what it gives us, because we are becoming aware that food plays a very important role in our health, not only inside, but also outside.
What is vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble substance that is mainly present in two forms: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). The most active and bioavailable form for the human body is vitamin D3, which is produced in our skin when exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) sunlight. It can also be obtained through the intake of foods rich in this vitamin and dietary supplements.
What vitamin D provides to the body
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the absorption and regulation of calcium and phosphorus in our body, which is essential for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. In addition to its role in bone health, vitamin D also has other benefits for the body, such as:
- Strengthening of the immune system: helps prevent infections and diseases.
- Mood regulation: Several studies show that vitamin D may play a role in the prevention of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
- Cardiovascular health: with adequate levels of vitamin D, a lower risk of cardiovascular disease is associated.
- Muscle health: contributes to the development of muscle strength and balance.
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency occurs when vitamin D levels in the body are inadequate to maintain optimal health. Vitamin D deficiency can have negative health consequences, such as muscle weakness, increased risk of bone fractures, osteoporosis, increased risk of autoimmune diseases, increased vulnerability to infections, growth problems in children and other health problems.
Some of the most common causes for which a person may have vitamin D insufficiency are:
Foods rich in vitamin D
In addition to sun exposure, as already mentioned, we can obtain vitamin D from certain foods and its consumption brings great benefits to our body and our skin.
Fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolk, fortified dairy products and some mushrooms are the main sources of this vitamin. Making sure you get enough vitamin D in your diet can contribute to bone health, proper immune system function, cardiovascular health and hormone regulation.
- Oily fish: salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines are excellent sources of vitamin D. These fish contain high levels of vitamin D3, the most active form of the vitamin. It is recommended that fatty fish be consumed at least twice a week to obtain adequate amounts of vitamin D. A recommended serving may be approximately 100-150 grams, depending on the type of fish.
- Beef liver is a concentrated source of nutrients, including vitamin D. It is a concentrated source of vitamin D, but due to its high vitamin A content, it is recommended to consume it in moderate amounts. A serving of about 100 grams is suggested once a week or every two weeks.
- Egg yolks are rich in vitamin D, although the amount varies according to the diet of the laying hens. They can be consumed in moderation. It is advisable to include more than 2 egg yolks in the diet each week, taking into account individual needs.
- Some milks, yogurts and cheeses are fortified with vitamin D. These products may be an option for those who do not consume fish or have dietary restrictions. The amount of vitamin D in fortified dairy products may vary, so it is important to check labels for the exact amount. In general, a daily serving of fortified milk (approximately 200-250 ml) and other fortified milk products can be included according to individual needs, although it is recommended that they be consumed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and local dietary guidelines.
- Some varieties of mushrooms, such as mushrooms, can synthesize vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light. These mushrooms can be an option for vegetarians or vegans. It is recommended to consume them several times a week as part of a balanced diet. There is no specific established amount, but one serving of mushrooms (about 100 grams) can be included in one or more meals per week.