There are many Vitamin D foods that are naturally available. Though naturally available through ultra violet rays, the body may require extra Vitamin D in the form of food, especially in people who do not get exposure to UV rays of Sun. From a growing kid to elderly people, all require Vitamin D for a perfect bone & joint health.
What is Vitamin D ?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble Vitamin. There are two major forms
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) – It is produced in our skin due to exposure to ultraviolet B light from the sun or artificial source and is also available in natural sources of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D benefits
Vitamin D does the following functions –
- Vitamin D acts as cytokine, defending the body against microbes (bacteria, virus etc. )
- Vitamin D acts as a hormone, which regulates the concentration of calcium & phosphate in the blood. This helps to promote growth and bone formation.
- Vitamin D along with calcium helps to avoid osteoporosis (porous and weak, degraded bones).
- Vitamin D also looks after nerve-muscle co ordinate functioning, reduces inflammation, and influences gene action.
- Vitamin D has a role in preventing cancer
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency can result in weakness of bones and joints, thin and brittle bones. Deficiency may cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
Vitamin D deficiency may also lead to increased risk of disease related to heart and blood vessels.
Vitamin D food sources
As explained above, UV rays – artificial or natural, helps to make Vitamin D in the body. Apart from it, inclusion of the below listed foods with Vitamin D is very beneficial.
- Pure Cod liver oil
- Tuna fish
- Egg yolk
- Certain food items are fortified with Vitamin D – like fortified milk and fortified orange juice.