Diana Kelly Levey

Why Vitamin D Is So Important for Bone Health

Salmon on a plate with rice

July 1, 2021 | Categories: ,

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! (Related: 7 Vitamin-Packed Foods Health Experts Eat)

How to Score Enough Vitamin D

“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 (You’ll also get a dose of omega-3s.)

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!

Read the full article on CentraState.

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