What you probably know is that vitamin D comes from the sun, hence the nickname “the sunshine vitamin”. It is proven also to lower cancer risk, helps with asthma protection and reduced blood pressure. All of that in just one vitamin!
But what you didn’t know (probably) is why is it so important? What will happen if you don’t get in enough? And can you take it additionally as a supplement?
Importance of Vitamin D
When your skin is exposed to the sun’s rays, your body produces vitamin D and that enhances calcium absorption. Some vitamin also plays an important role in strengthening your immune system.
Without enough of it, you can be at serious risk of osteomalacia (softening of the bones caused by impaired bone metabolism). I don’t need to tell you about the importance of healthy bones.
The good news is that about 80% of the required vitamin D comes from the sun, so all you need to do is being outdoors. However, that has to be balanced with proper sun protection.
No point in staying out in the middle of summer during a period from 11 am to 4 pm just to try to boost your body with more vitamin D, because the only thing you can boost is the possibility of skin cancer, or in best case burned skin.
Your body can absorb small amounts of vitamin D from food as well.
What about the other 20%? Well, that comes from food. And it is rather simple. If you use margarine, your vitamin D intake will be even better, because, by law, vitamin D must be added in margarine during manufacturing.
As for other natural sources, fatty fishes that are high with OMEGA 3 acid (salmon, herring, anchovies, tuna) and eggs are your MUST HAVE. Just be sure to eat the yolk.
Recent nutrition research has shown that just two eggs can provide your body with almost a whole day’s vitamin D needs. And that’s just from two eggs! OK, we can’t expect you to eat two eggs every day, that would bring more health problem than improvement.
Importance of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is important for a number of functions in the body such as protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, reduce inflammation and risk of cancer, but it is mostly known as the best cure for a common cold. Also, it can offer benefits in:
- Dealing with stress – recent studies show vitamin C was beneficial to those whose immune system was weakened due to stressful life. And since it is the first nutrient that is depleted in individuals that smoke and consume a lot of alcohol, it makes him ideal for health benefits.
- Colds – Although it may not be a cure for it, it may prevent some serious complications, such as pneumonia and lung infections.
- Stroke – one study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those with the highest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood were associated with a 42% lower stroke risk than those with the lowest concentrations. People who eat lots of fruits and vegetables have higher blood levels of vitamin C.
How Can You Get Vitamin C
The safe upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 milligrams a day, but 500 daily milligrams of vitamin C is recommended to achieve health results in addition to eating five servings of fruit and vegetables.
While a cup of orange juice or a half-cup of red pepper should be enough to meet your recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C, if you consume these foods and beverages you will reach your necessary 500 milligrams :
- Cantaloupe, 1 cup: 59mg
- Orange juice, 1 cup: 97mg
- Broccoli, cooked, 1 cup: 74mg
- Red cabbage, 1/2 cup: 40mg
- Green pepper, 1/2 cup, 60mg
- Red pepper, 1/2 cup, 95mg
- Kiwi, 1 medium: 70mg
- Tomato juice, 1 cup: 45mg.
If your doctor recommends it or if you’re not eating enough foods with it in, then it may be advisable to take a supplement. Here are eight easy ways to work more fruits and veggies into your diet each day:
- Add pureed or grated fruits and veggies to recipes when making muffins, meatloaf, and soups.
- Keep cut or šealed fruits and veggies on hand so they are ready for a quick snack.
- Frozen fruit slices and make a refreshing and cool summer treat.
- Include dark lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded broccoli slaw on all your sandwiches and wraps to boost them with the additional vitamin.
- Eat raw veggies (if you can) with hummus, low-fat dips, and salsas.
- Add fresh or frozen berries to muffins, pancakes, cereal, and salads.
- Throw a handful of dried fruit on top of your cereal or in a baggie with nuts for an easy snack.
- Enjoy a glass of vegetable juice as a filling and low-calorie afternoon snack.
Vitamin C is water-soluble and not stored within the body, so if you consume more than your body needs it (even small amount as 100mg) can cause digestive issues as your body tries to excrete it.
If you live in sunny wealthy countries, you could be thinking your vitamin D intake is high enough. But guess what, it is estimated that one in four people don’t get enough of it. So you should rush to the pharmacy store to buy some supplements for it?
Supplements can definitely get you back on track, however, having too much of vitamin D can lead to serious health issues (calcification of soft tissue), so you should only be taking supplements under guidance or consultation of your doctor. Otherwise, reasonable sun exposure and a healthy diet plan will work just fine.
As far as for Vitamin C goes, as we said, it is not stored in the body, so overdose is not a concern. It is still important not to step over 2000 milligrams per day to avoid possible stomach upset.
But, you should be careful not to step the recommended dose as it can easily lead to more problems than benefits from taking them.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Feel free to comment and share on social media if you find it interesting. And if you have any questions, you can ask them below in comments or send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will personally answer your questions.
As always, looking forward to bringing you more information in the future.