Living Well In Yalobusha County

Vitamin D Is Essential For Health

By Pamela Redwine

Ten to 15 minutes of the sun on your legs and arms each day in good sunlight is enough to get you to 1,000 IU per day.  Of course the actual amount will vary based on your weather, season, latitude, sunscreen and the color of your skin. But that is a good rule of thumb.  If you live up north and have a winter that allows for little sun, you may want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement and eating foods that are rich in Vitamin D.

Vitamin D From Food

The chart below shows common heart-healthy foods that contain at least 10% of the Daily Value for Vitamin D. Vitamin D is naturally found in some fish, egg yolks and shrimp.  It is commonly added to milk, orange juice, margarine and packaged cereals. Beware of sodium content in canned foods and packaged cereals. Beware of trans fat and saturated fat in margarine. Cod liver oil, chicken liver and beef liver should all be avoided because they contain toxic doses of Vitamin A and cholesterol if consumed regularly.

Food Label Tip

For every 10% of the Daily Value a food contains of Vitamin D, it has 40 IU.

Health Benefits     

Vitamin D impacts not only bone health but also immune function and many other bodily functions. Getting enough Vitamin D helps lower the risk of many diseases including heart disease, auto-immune diseases and cancer.

Below is a list of foods and how much vitamin D they have.

Heart Healthy Sources of Vitamin D Servings, Vitamin D (IU)

Tuna, bluefish, cooked                                          4 oz, 1,061;

Salmon, sockeye, 4 oz 739;         

Tuna, skipjack, cooked 4 oz, 586;

Salmon chinook 4 oz, 411;     

Salmon, atlantic, cooked 4 oz, 356;

Sardines, canned in oil                                            4 oz,  250;

Mackerel, cooked 4 oz, 242;         

Herring or trout, cooked 4 oz, 240;

Tuna, canned, yellowfish (albacore, ahi) 4 oz                 161;

Shrimp, 4 oz, 160;

Milk, nonfat skim, 1 cup                100;

Fortified orange juice, 1 cup, 90;

Fortified rice or soy beverage, 1 cup, 80;

Fortified margarine (trans –free) 1 tbsp, 76; and

Tuna, canned, light or white, 4 oz, 63.  

Article Source: Communicating Food For Health, July 2008

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