Among the essential functions of Vitamin D is calcium absorption for strong bones, teeth and muscles.
Unfortunately, about 40 percent of Americans are vitamin D deficient, leading to osteoporosis and other bone health issues as you age. That’s why it’s vital to get your daily recommendation of 600 International Units (IU) of vitamin D for adults and 800 IU for those over age 70. The earlier you start, the better!
“The easiest way for the body to absorb vitamin D is through ultraviolet rays (UVB) from the sun,” says Anne VanMeerbeke, a registered dietitian at CentraState. Getting outside on a sunny day allows your skin to absorb those ultraviolet rays, which will synthesize vitamin D and help your body absorb calcium, she says. Just 10-30 minutes of midday sunlight, a few times per week, helps your body maintain vitamin D. Adjust your time in the sun based on your sensitivity to sunlight and use a good sunscreen for protection. If you’re not out in the sun much, you’ll need to get vitamin D through other sources.
Luckily, there are delicious ways to get vitamin D, even on cloudy days:
- Fortified milk, soy milk, cereal and orange juice
- Trout, wild salmon, cod, herring, halibut and sardines
Make these foods part of your daily diet for healthy bones your older self will thank you for. You can even dine al fresco on sunny days for a double dose of D!
Learn more about your bone health by getting a bone density test for $20. Register at livelifewellnj.com/events.
You can also join Stronger Bones, Stronger You and discover the role of diet in optimizing bone health. In this FREE on-demand, virtual program, we discuss which foods are best to eat to prevent osteoporosis and build stronger bones. Watch anytime by signing up for the free Power Up membership at livelifewellnj.com/power-up.