Cereal Can Be Fortified With Vitamin D And Oatmeal Offers Fiber
A packet of unsweetened, fortified oatmeal can add a solid dose of vitamin D to your diet. Ready-to-eat fortified cereal typically gives you 40 IU of vitamin D per serving, per the NIH, but it may provide more if you choose a more heavily fortified cereal, like Raisin Bran, which has 60.2 IU per cup, notes the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Fortified cereal can be a solid base for a nutrient-rich, high-fiber meal especially if you add fortified low-fat or fat-free milk to your bowl for an extra 60 IU per half cup. Or you can be more adventurous and make a breakfast cookie that includes both fortified cereal and vitamin Dfortified margarine.
What Foods Provide Calcium
Calcium is found in many foods. You can get recommended amounts of calcium by eating a variety of foods, including the following:
- Milk and milk alternatives such as yogurt, cheese, and fortified plant-based beverages
- Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach
- Fish with soft bones that are eaten, such as canned salmon or sardines.
Dont Overdo It On Dairy Products
When we talk about calcium, we immediately think of milk and any kind of dairy product such as cheese or yogurt.
However, even though all of these examples are good sources of calcium, our body doesnt always absorb the mineral efficiently. Despite eating all the right foods, we can still end up with a deficiency. In some cases, certain levels of lactose intolerance can also negatively impact absorption.
Thus, calcium-rich foods arent always the answer.
Below, we discuss other vegetable-based foods that also contain plenty of calcium as well as some recommendations for helping our body better absorb it.
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Who Is At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some people are at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency:
- Breastfed infants, because human milk is a poor source of vitamin D. If you are breastfeeding, give your infant a supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D every day.
- Older adults, because your skin doesn’t make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight as efficiently as when you were young, and your kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D to its active form.
- People with dark skin, which has less ability to produce vitamin D from the sun.
- People with disorders such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease who don’t handle fat properly, because vitamin D needs fat to be absorbed.
- People who have obesity, because their body fat binds to some vitamin D and prevents it from getting into the blood.
- People with chronic kidney or liver disease.
- People with hyperparathyroidism
- People with sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, histoplasmosis, or other granulomatous disease
- People with some lymphomas, a type of cancer.
- People who take medicines that affect vitamin D metabolism, such as cholestyramine , anti-seizure drugs, glucocorticoids, antifungal drugs, and HIV/AIDS medicines.
Talk with your health care provider if you are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. There is a blood test which can measure how much vitamin D is in your body.
Getting Calcium Without Dairy
Whether youre allergic to dairy or just trying to avoid it for your own personal health reasons, there are plenty of ways you can get enough calcium without dairy. Supplementing is not necessary! Just make an effort to eat plenty of calcium-rich foods like broth, fish with bones, veggies , and other healthy sources of fats, protein, and probiotics as part of a varied diet.
While the above suggestions worked great for my family and me, keep in mind that Im not a doctor and cant tell you what your individual needs are. Be sure to check in with a health professional to get your nutrient levels checked and to discuss the best calcium sources for you.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Lauren Jefferis, board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor or work with a doctor at SteadyMD.
Do you eat dairy? Do you try to get your calcium in other ways? Share below!
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Its Not Always About The Egg White
Health-conscious people who like eggs often only eat the egg white. But did you know the egg yolk contains vitamin D?
Enjoy the whole egg and consume protein from the egg white and fat, minerals, and, our star, vitamin D from the yolk.
If you can find eggs from pasture-raised or free-range chickens, you may get even more vitamin D. Makes sense, doesnt it, since we know about vitamin D and sunlight.
Drink Alcohol In Moderation
In order to absorb calcium, you need vitamin D. In order to get this vitamin to its jobs, your liver has to convert this vitamin into its active form. However, drinking alcohol can involve in this process. Although it is not clear to know how much alcohol can affect the calcium levels, but moderation is the best way to maintain the ability to absorb calcium.
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What Is The Calcium Status Of Canadians
Information on calcium intakes is available from dietary intake data, collected in the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey . At a national level, the prevalence of inadequate calcium intake varies widely, but tends to increase with age and is higher in women than men.
Based on food intakes only:
- Only about 3% of children aged 1-3 had inadequate intakes of calcium.
- Almost one-quarter of children aged 4-8 had inadequate intakes of calcium.
- More than one third of boys aged 9-18 and more than two-thirds of girls aged 9-18 had inadequate intakes of calcium.
- Adult men had a prevalence of inadequate intakes ranging from 27-80%, depending on the age group.
- Adult women had a prevalence of inadequate intakes ranging from 48-87%, depending on the age group
Data on calcium intakes from food and supplement sources combined show that supplement use did not greatly affect the prevalence of inadequate calcium intakes in most age and gender groups, with the exception of women over the age of 50.
What Is Calcium And Vitamin D Combination
Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for many functions of the body, especially bone formation and maintenance. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium.
Calcium and vitamin D combination is used to treat or prevent a calcium deficiency.
There are many brands and forms of calcium and vitamin D combination available. Not all brands are listed on this leaflet.
Calcium and vitamin D combination may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
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What Happens When You Dont Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D insufficiency affects almost 50 percent of the population worldwide, with an estimated 1 billion people worldwide having a vitamin D deficiency. In children, a true vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, rare disease that causes bones to become soft and bend. In adults, a serious lack of vitamin D can cause osteomalacia, a disease that causes weak bones, bone pain and muscle weakness.
Now before you run to the store to buy a large amount of vitamin D supplements, Carpenter notes that it is possible to get too much vitamin D. If your vitamin D levels are too high, then you can be at risk for hypercalcemia. This condition can actually weaken your bones, create kidney stones and interfere with how your heart and brain work.
There is not a toxicity of vitamin D that you can get from the sun, Carpenter explained, whereas you can get too much vitamin D by taking too many supplements.
She highly recommends getting your daily dose of vitamin D through everyday sunlight, but if that is not possible, then she recommends speaking to a health care provider before taking any supplements in addition to a multivitamin.
For The Love Of Mushrooms
Another food posing as something it isntthe mushroom. To be fair, the only reason some people think mushrooms are vegetables is they show up on salad bars.
Mushrooms are neither vegetables or fruits. Theyre a fungus. And like humans, they can produce vitamin D if exposed to sunlight.
Now, if you know anything about mushrooms, you know theyre grown in the dark. Not many ultraviolet rays in a mushroom farm, right?
The good news for mushroom lovers is some brands grow mushrooms in ultraviolet light. The UV light spurs production of vitamin D. Mushrooms also have a tiny amount of calcium in each 100g serving.
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How Do You Get Vitamin D And Calcium
Your body makes Vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sun, but several factors limit its creation:
Living anywhere in the country above latitude 33 degrees
Wearing sunscreen to protect against melanoma
Having naturally dark skin
Aging, which changes absorption ability
The amount of sun you would need to achieve normal blood vitamin D levels is probably more than is safe for your skin, so most people may need supplements to achieve a normal vitamin D level.
Either form of vitamin D benefits the body, but very few foods naturally contain the nutrient or are fortified with it. Thats why doctors recommend supplements to make up the difference. Foods containing vitamin D include:
Cod liver oil: 400-1,000 IU per teaspoon
Wild caught salmon: 600-1,000 IU per 3.5 oz
Farmed salmon: 100-250 IU per 3.5 oz
Canned salmon: 300-600 IU per 3.5 oz
Canned sardines: 300 IU per 3.5 oz
Canned mackerel: 250 IU per 3.5 oz
Canned tuna: 236 IU per 3.5 oz
Fresh shitake mushrooms: 100 IU per 3.5 oz
Sundried shitake mushrooms: 1,600 IU per 3.5 oz
Egg yolk: 20 IU per yolk
Milk, orange juice, infant formula, yogurt, margarine, butter, cheese and breakfast cereals are often fortified with vitamin D.
Calcium is found in:
How Can I Get More Vitamin D
There are a few foods that naturally have some vitamin D:
- Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel
- Beef liver
- Egg yolks
You can also get vitamin D from fortified foods. You can check the food labels to find out whether a food has vitamin D. Foods that often have added vitamin D include:
- Other dairy products, such as yogurt
- Soy drinks
Vitamin D is in many multivitamins. There are also vitamin D supplements, both in pills and a liquid for babies.
If you have vitamin D deficiency, the treatment is with supplements. Check with your health care provider about how much you need to take, how often you need to take it, and how long you need to take it.
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Signs Of Deficiency And Toxicity
Vitamin D deficiency may occur from a lack in the diet, poor absorption, or having a metabolic need for higher amounts. If one is not eating enough vitamin D and does not receive enough ultraviolet sun exposure over an extended period , a deficiency may arise. People who cannot tolerate or do not eat milk, eggs, and fish, such as those with a lactose intolerance or who follow a vegan diet, are at higher risk for a deficiency. Other people at high risk of vitamin D deficiency include:
- People with inflammatory bowel disease or other conditions that disrupt the normal digestion of fat. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that depends on the guts ability to absorb dietary fat.
- People who are obese tend to have lower blood vitamin D levels. Vitamin D accumulates in excess fat tissues but is not easily available for use by the body when needed. Higher doses of vitamin D supplementation may be needed to achieve a desirable blood level. Conversely, blood levels of vitamin D rise when obese people lose weight.
- People who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, which typically removes the upper part of the small intestine where vitamin D is absorbed.
Conditions resulting from prolonged vitamin D deficiency:
Symptoms of toxicity:
- Weight loss
- Irregular heart beat
- Hardening of blood vessels and tissues due to increased blood levels of calcium, potentially leading to damage of the heart and kidneys
Men Or Women At Risk For Fracture Or Osteoporosis
1,200 mg calcium and 2040 mcg of vitamin D
There is evidence of risks of taking too much calcium through supplements. However, postmenopausal women at increased risk for fractures or osteoporosis need more calcium and vitamin D. If a woman with these characteristics is meeting her RDA through food, it is best that she not add a calcium supplement. If she does not eat dairy, she may need a supplement. If she has a balanced diet, she may only need an additional 500 mg of calcium.
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What Are The New Dris For Vitamin D
The DRIs for vitamin D are based on maintaining skeletal health and have been set using the assumption that sun exposure is minimal.
The DRIs for vitamin D, which can also be found in the DRI tables, are as follows:
|Adequate Intake rather than Recommended Dietary Allowance.|
The IOM report states that there are no additional health benefits associated with vitamin D intakes above the level of the new RDA.
Total vitamin D intake should remain below the level of the new UL to avoid possible adverse effects. Long-term intakes above the UL increase the risk of adverse health effects.
How To Get The Right Amount
Figuring out the right calcium with vitamin D3 dosage can get pretty tricky, especially since the guidelines can vary based on a number of different factors. The calcium and vitamin D recommendations for osteoporosis, for instance, may differ from the recommendations for pregnancy or weight loss, and your specific needs can vary based on your age and health status.
Generally, most adults need between 1,0001,200 milligrams per day of calcium. This can come from calcium foods, calcium supplements or a combination of both. Meanwhile, adults typically need about 600 IU of vitamin D per day, which increases to 800 IU per day after the age of 70. However, many recommend taking a higher dosage calcium and vitamin D supplement, especially if youre at a higher risk for deficiency. In some cases, vitamin D doses can range up to 5,000 IU per day. Be sure to use supplements only as directed, and talk to your doctor if you suspect that you may have a deficiency to find the right dosage for you.
Besides determining your dosage, finding the best calcium and vitamin D supplement to fit your needs can also be tricky. Select vitamin D3 over vitamin D2 whenever possible, and be sure to take supplements with food to help maximize absorption. Additionally, opt for calcium citrate instead of calcium carbonate, which can minimize potential side effects and ensure you get the most from your calcium tablets.
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How Much Sun Exposure Do You Need
To get enough vitamin D, generally, you should try to get 1020 minutes of sun exposure to your bare skin outside peak sunlight hours daily without sunscreen and taking care not to burn.
Unfortunately, sunlight is not always a reliable source of vitamin D. The season and geographic latitude, use of sunscreen, city smog, skin pigmentation, and a persons age are just some of the factors that will affect how much vitamin D is produced in the skin through sunlight.
Because many of us spend most of our times indoors, low levels of vitamin D have become a worldwide problem and there is concern that this is having a negative impact on bone health.
Take A Daily Supplement:
To satisfy your daily requirement for calcium, you can also make use of the supplements. Calcium supplements are available in different forms, such as powders, liquids, chewable tablets, capsules, and tablets.
The proper dosage depends upon your health status and ages. Thus, do not take calcium supplements before consulting your doctor carefully. Try to take supplements soon after a meal with food for better absorption.
Do not take high daily doses of calcium supplements as it can damage your heart and lead to some harmful unwanted side effects.
This is, in brief, one of the best tips on how to get calcium for human beings so that people should not look down yet try to make use by adding this ingredient to the daily diet and enjoy good health.
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Remember The President Who Didnt Like Broccoli
You may not be old enough to remember the president who didnt like broccoli. He made way for children and adults alike to rebel against those little green trees on their dinner plates.
Dont be like him! Make room on your plate for a variety of beautiful green vegetables, specifically, kale, collard greens, Chinese cabbage, and, of course, broccoli.
Dark leafy greens are the way to go. For a more exotic twist on calcium-rich vegetables, try okra or rhubarb. Yes, rhubarb is a vegetable!
Health Benefits Of Vitamin D And Calcium
1. Strengthen Bones
Improved bone health is one of the biggest benefits of calcium and vitamin D. In fact, bone loss is one of the most notable vitamin D and calcium deficiency symptoms, which could potentially lead to issues like osteoporosis, a condition that increases the risk of fractures by causing bones to become weak and brittle. According to one study out of Ireland, calcium is necessary for supporting the health and structure of the bones, while vitamin D helps boost calcium absorption, promotes calcium balance in the body and maintains skeletal integrity.
2. Support Healthy Pregnancy
Both vitamin D and calcium are absolutely essential for ensuring a healthy pregnancy and fostering fetal growth and development. One large trial out of South Carolina found that taking 4,000 international units of vitamin D per day was safe and effective for pregnant women, noting that a deficiency could cause serious issues like neonatal seizures and adverse effects on pregnancy. Similarly, another review reported that calcium supplementation during pregnancy could reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia by 52 percent and may also be linked to a lower risk of pre-term birth, plus a higher birthweight.
3. Promote Weight Loss
4. Could Help Protect Against Cancer
5. Enhance Heart Health
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