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Food & Cooking

Vitamin D – An Important Food Nutrition

Vitamin D – one of the Food Nutrition has an important role to play in daily life; every living being requires a different amount of vitamin to remain healthy.

For example, Humans have to get Vitamin C from their diet whereas Dogs can produce all the Vitamin C needed. The human body must absorb Vitamin D from sunlight since this vitamin is not in enough quantities in food.

Vitamins

The term “Vitamine” wherein Vita means Life and amine. Later the name changed to Vitamin when realized that not all Vitamins contain Nitrogen (i.e. Amines). Vitamin is a short word for Vital minerals also.

fruits as a food nutrients

Vitamin is an organic compound that is available in small amounts in natural food. Vitamins are either Fat-Soluble or Water-Soluble. The basic differences between both the vitamins are mentioned below:

Fat-Soluble VitaminsWater-Soluble Vitamins
Includes Vitamins A, D, E, and KIncludes Vitamin C and all B Vitamins
The body stores these Vitamins in the liver and fatty tissue.The body cannot store these Vitamins.
Stays in the body for days and sometimes months.These Vitamins do not stay for long in the body.
These are required every weekThese are required every 2-3 days.
Table. Fat-Soluble Vitamins Vs Water-Soluble Vitamins

There are in total 13 essential vitamins which are helpful for a body to grow and work the way it should, namely:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B7
  • Vitamin B9
  • Vitamin B12

What precisely is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is the most essential vitamin which is required by our body. It is also named Sunshine Vitamin since it is produced by the human body when exposed to sunlight. To form the elements of Vitamin D, the Type B Ultraviolet rays interact with cholesterol in our bodies.

Vitamin D is not present in enough quantity in different foods hence it is advisable to consume supplements as per the prescription from the doctors to fulfill the need of the body.

Chemical Names: Ergocalciferol, Cholecalciferol

  • The Ergocalciferol or calciferol also known as Vitamin D2 found in plants
  • e Cholecalciferol also known as Vitamin D3 found in animal tissues

How Vitamin D is produced in a body?

The method through which the body makes vitamin D is complicated.

  • The process begins in the skin, where ultraviolet light causes the change of the molecule 7-dehydrocholesterol, which is a part of the substance we call cholesterol, to change into pre-vitamin D2.
  • This is changed into cholecalciferol next (also called Vitamin D3). 80% of the vitamin D in our bodies comes from the skin’s manufacture of vitamin D3.
  • Afterward, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D for short, is produced in the liver from the vitamin D compound. Since this is the primary form of vitamin D that circulates in the body, doctors frequently test for it and use the results to determine a patient’s vitamin D status.
  • Vitamin D is finally transformed into calcitriol in the kidneys.
  • Your body uses this form of vitamin D as an active metabolite for various processes.

We usually do not take calcitriol into account when assessing vitamin D levels because it only circulates in the body for a short time.

Foods enriched with Vitamin D?

When a person’s skin is exposed to direct sunshine, the body creates vitamin D, a type of nutrient. Although vitamin D is not naturally present in many foods, people still can consume it. Oily fish and several varieties of mushrooms contain high levels of vitamin D.

If the chicken laying the eggs is free-range, it is found in the yolks of the eggs. Vitamin D is also present in some mushrooms.

Vitamin D is not produced by any other plant-based meals, though. It might be hard to get enough vitamin D for those whose diets are mainly vegetarian or vegan as well as for those who do not or are unable to spend a lot of time outside.

Following foods can help those people who have less vitamin D overall in their bodies and are concerned that they barely getting enough from sunlight:

Some of the Foods that are generally very high in Vitamin D:

  • Fish Oil or Fish: These contain some of the highest quantities of Vitamin D in Cod liver oil, Herring, and Swordfish.
  • Egg Yolks: Free-range chickens are exposed to sunshine and often produce eggs with 3–4 times the amount of vitamin D seen in eggs from chickens maintained inside. Vitamin D levels are often higher in organic or free-range eggs.
  • Seafood
  • Beef Liver
  • Fatty Fish like tuna, trout, etc

Fortified foods which are high in Vitamin D:

  • Cereals & Oatmeal Hot and cold cereals or ready-to-eat cereals can provide up to 3 mcg of vitamin D
  • Milk It is also a good source of Vitamin D which although does not have enough amount but daily consumption can be an aid to the above-mentioned Vitamin deficiency.
  • Orange/Orange Juice: In addition to orange juice, plant milk such as soy, rice, hemp, oat, or almond milk are commonly enriched with levels of Vitamin D. In a 240ml cup, they offer 2.5 mcg of vitamin D.
  • Soy Products like soy chunks, tofu
  • Mushrooms: Since the majority of commercial mushrooms are grown in a place where they are not exposed to UV radiation, they likely have very little vitamin D hence only certain types of mushrooms like raw maitake mushrooms and dried shiitake mushrooms contain a large amount of vitamin D
  • Cheese: Vitamin D is naturally present in cheese, however in very little amounts.
  • Cow milk: You can expect that 1 cup (240 ml) of milk will contain up to 120 IU (3 mcg) of vitamin D, depending on the area in which you reside.
  • Margarine: In contrast to butter, which is not commonly enriched with vitamin D, many types of margarine do enrich with this vitamin. Generally, 1-Teaspoon offers 0.5mcg of vitamin D.

If you are worried about your consumption, then getting tested and prescribed various supplements, medications, and vaccinations help to aid the deficiency of Vitamin D in the body. Some of them are:

  • Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol are the two types of vitamin D pills that are most frequently found in stores (vitamin D3). When possible, vitamin D3 is preferred over vitamin D2 since it may be more effective at raising vitamin D levels.

For premenopausal women and men and postmenopausal women, it’s crucial to get at least 1000 mg of calcium daily while receiving treatment for vitamin D deficiency.

Why Vitamin D is vital?

Several advantages of vitamin D might exist. It may help with weight control, mood improvement, and easing depression symptoms. It may also lower the risk of catching certain diseases.

  • It helps to absorb Calcium and phosphorous in the body without which the body can result in weakening of bones and teeth softening in children/adults.
  • It regulates the response of body tissues to injury differentiate by pain, swelling, redness, and heat, and also normalizes the immune system.
  • Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with a higher risk of cardiac conditions such as hypertension, heart failure, and stroke.
  • Although research is mixed, vitamin D may decrease the risk of COVID-19 infections and severe flu.

You may need to get a blood test from a medical expert and think about taking a vitamin D supplement because it might be challenging to obtain enough vitamin D through diet alone.


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