Happy Vitamin D Day: 5 Ways to Eat Your Vitamin D

Happy Vitamin D Day: 5 Ways to Eat Your Vitamin D

November 2nd has been declared Vitamin D day and the fact that this little tiny vitamin has its own day just shows how important it is! Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium and phosphorous for strong bones and teeth, it protects us against infections and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Vitamin D can even ward off seasonal affective disorder by keeping our mood elevated.

Adults should aim for a minimum of 1000 IU of Vitamin D per day, either through food or a supplement. Here are five tips to help you get your recommended amount of Vitamin D in.

Here Fishy Fishy: Salmon & Pacific Mackerel

1. A serving of sockeye salmon (2 ½ oz) can contain anywhere from 500 – 700 IU of Vitamin D. Not only does this protein come close to your recommended Vitamin D requirements but it also provides you with those essential omega-3 fatty acids.

2. Holy mackerel – this fish is high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and a great source of protein and Vitamin D with 343 IU of Vitamin D per serving. In addition to the health benefits associated with consuming a high amount of anti-inflammatory foods, a recent study on colorectal cancer survivors, found that a high intake of marine sources of omega-3 fatty acids, including mackerel, was associated with a lower risk of mortality. Mackerel is also one of the least expensive fish on the market, so no need to break the bank in order to eat at least two servings of fish per week

Mmmmilk

3. A glass (1 cup) of fortified milk contains approximately 100 IU of Vitamin D. Try making a homemade cream sauce with your baked salmon for a Vitamin-D packed plate.

4. Unsweetened calcium and Vitamin D-fortified vegetarian milk
The myriad of vegetarian milk products sitting in the dairy cooler or in the aisles of the grocery store gives us the flexibility to experiment and choose a favourite based on our taste buds. When choosing a vegetarian milk, make sure it is “fortified” or “enriched,” meaning vitamins and minerals have been added to it, otherwise you might just be drinking water, starch and sugar. Drink calcium and Vitamin D-fortified vegetarian milk for your bones! One cup contains 30% to 35% of your daily calcium needs and 45% of your
daily Vitamin D needs, which is the same as cow’s milk.

Tip: Choose the unsweetened variety, as flavoured vegetarian milk can contain twice the amount of sugar.

Sunshine in a bottle

5. Especially during the winter months when the sun is harder to find, it’s advised that adults take a Vitamin D supplement of 1000 IU each day. Exposure to UVB rays allow our bodies to make Vitamin D through our skin, which is why Vitamin D is one of the few supplements that most health care professionals recommend since we cannot make Vitamin D through our skin from October to April.

Jess Pirnak

Jess is a Registered Dietitian working in Vancouver, BC. She is registered with the College of Dietitians of British Columbia and is an active member of Dietitians of Canada. Jess graduated from the University of British Columbia’s Food Nutrition and Health program, and completed her dietetic internship with Provincial Health Services Authority after finishing a Psychology degree from Simon Fraser University. Jess is passionate about education, prevention and creating a healthy community. In her spare time she updates her personal food blog where she discusses hot topics in nutrition. She loves working with kids and parents helping them create a positive relationship with food and enjoys discussing sustainable farming practices with anyone who will listen!