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August 26, 2018: Vitamin D

My weekly Get Your Stuff Together Sunday email series gives you one actionable focus for the week that will make your life a little easier.

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Summer is the time of year to soak in some rays and get a healthy dose of Vitamin D to store for the winter months ahead. But, you're probably wondering how do we get Vitamin D safely, without risking a sunburn or harmful rays? And on top of that, why is it important and what's the big deal if we don't get enough? This week, we’re talking about the importance of Vitamin D and the different ways you can get enough - even after Summer ends.

Why Vitamin D?

Vitamin D plays an important role in bone growth and development by absorbing calcium and helping regulate the immune system, but research has found Vitamin D acts as a hormone rather than a vitamin. The studies have found almost every tissue type in our body has receptors for Vitamin D and requires it for optimal performance.

How much should I get?

600 IU (international units) is a common recommendation, but considering genetics, input and output, recommendations depend on the individual. There is also debate on the general recommended amount in the medical community. If you haven't had a Vitamin D test, most doctors include them in annual physicals. Depending on the amount in your blood they might suggest over-the-counter supplements, or in severe cases, start you on a prescribed amount and continue regular measurements.

How do I get my Vitamin D?

Getting outside and exposing your skin for ten minutes each day can raise your levels of Vitamin D. But, if you're fair-skinned, live in the city, or don't get outside much, that's ten minutes too many. Outside of supplements, the best way is through your diet.

Based on the 600 IU recommendations here are some of the best Vitamin D rich foods:

A cup of mushrooms exposed to sunlight contain:

  • Portabellos 163% DV (daily value)
  • Maitake 131% DV
  • Morel 23% DV
  • Chanterelle 19% DV
  • Oyster 4% DV
  • White 1% DV

Three ounces of oily fish contains:

  • Trout 108% DV
  • Smoked Salmon 97% DV
  • Swordfish 94% DV
  • Canned Trout 86% DV
  • Salmon 75% DV
  • Smoked White Fish 73% DV
  • Mackerel 65% DV
  • Halibut 33% DV
  • Tilapia 21% DV
  • Sole and Flounder 20% DV
  • Tuna Steak 12% DV

Three ounces of tofu contains:

  • Firm 23% DV
  • Lite Silken Tofu 21% DV
  • Sprouted Tofu, Extra Firm and Firm Tofu 14% DV

Dairy Products per cup contains:

  • Queso Fresco 22% DV
  • Buttermilk, Fortified Low Fat Fruit Yogurt, Fortified Whole Milk, Fortified Goat's Milk 20% DV
  • Fortified Semi-Skim Milk 20% DV
  • Fortified Skim Milk 19% DV

Three ounces of pork contains:

  • Extra Lean Ham 12% DV
  • Spare Ribs 15% DV
  • Turkey and Pork Sausage 12% DV
  • Pork Shoulder 9% DV
  • Pork Loin 8% DV

A cup of eggs contains:

  • Hard Boiled 20% DV
  • Raw, scrambled, poached or omelets 7% DV

A cup of dairy alternatives contains:

  • Plain Soy Yogurt 22% DV
  • Soymilk 20% DV
  • Almond Milk, Chocolate Almond Milk, Non-soy Imitation Milk or Rice Drink 17% DV

Although the recommended amount of Vitamin D is under debate, the importance of it is not. If you're found to have a deficiency, take supplements and introduce Vitamin D foods into your diet and conduct your own study. You may find the results to be an easy fix to a variety of health issues you're experiencing.

Next Sunday, we’ll talk about the positive and negative effects of drinking alcohol, just in time for Labor Day weekend BBQs.

Do you have a friend who could stand to G(her)ST? Feel free to forward this!

I hope you have a wonderful week,


Kelly Morgan, Ph.D.

Tsirona -

My weekly GYSTS email give you one actionable thing to do for the week that will make you life a little easier. As "they" say, "Fail to plan; plan to fail." Get these emails (and more!) delivered right to your inbox by clicking HERE.