Vitamin D is part of a group of fat-soluble steroid molecules (secosteroid) having the biological function of increasing intestinal absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus and of regulating the immune and bone metabolism. Let’s discover what are vitamin D foods, their benefits, and what vitamin D deficiency entails.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is released into our body when it serves and it accumulates in the liver. There are two types:
- Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) which we find in small quantities in vegetables and in greater quantity in mushrooms;
- Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is, instead, synthesized by the skin through sun exposure.
Vitamin D benefits
We know it is very important, but what are vitamin D benefits? First, this substance is essential for the proper mineralization of bones and teeth in both adults and children and helps maintain an optimal level of calcium in the blood. Besides, it is good for your kidneys, your arteries, and even your body tissues. Another vitamin D benefit is connected to our immune system against some infections, in fact, it protects the heart and helps keep away other diseases related to cartilage and muscles.
What are vitamin D foods? Keep reading.
Vitamin D foods
It is not easy to find vitamin D foods, but there are some foods that should never be missing in our diet.
In summer, sun exposure helps us to receive the right dose of vitamin D naturally but, in winter, it is very complicated.
Foods rich in vitamin D are:
- Oily fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines),
- full-fat yogurt and cheese,
- cod liver oil,
- mushrooms, the only vegetable source of vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency negatively affects the calcification of bones with effects ranging from rickets for children to bone deformities of various kinds and osteomalacia, which occurs when the bone structure is externally intact but there is insufficient mineral content within the bones.
The lack of vitamin D also makes the teeth weaker and vulnerable to caries.
Vitamin D deficiency may be due to:
- Inadequate exposure to sunlight
- Insufficient intake
- Reduced absorption
- Abnormal metabolism
Spending time outdoors, in the sun, is the best way to get the daily dose of vitamin D you need. Adequate exposure during the summer season allows you to stock up for the winter.
Do you want more nutritional information connected to vitamin D? Contact our knowledgeable nutritionists.