In a continuation of the thoughts from last week regarding keeping sickness at bay in the work place, vitamin D can be added to your healthy “to do” list.
Numerous studies and articles are focusing in on the positive effects of Vitamin D and its correlating preventative action against colds and flu viruses. One of the studies reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine examined the vitamin D levels of close to 19,000 people and their respiratory infections. They found that the individuals with the lowest vitamin D levels were over 1/3 more likely to state having a recent respiratory infection than those with higher levels of vitamin D.
We are told as young children to drink milk because it is good for our bones. Because of this, we learn early on that vitamin D is good for our bones, and while this is certainly true, it is far from expressing all of the attributes this vitamin has for our body. Vitamin D helps to regulate our immune system as well as the neuromuscular system.
So how much vitamin D do you need and how can you get it?
According to the Vitamin D Council, it is recommended to get between 1,000-2,000 IU of vitamin D daily for healthy adults. Of course, you may want to consult with your physician if you have any questions or concerns about your own health and vitamin D levels (which can be checked by your doctor’s office as well).
The Today Show health section reported certain foods which contain vitamin D:
vitamin D-rich food
- Wild salmon 3 oz = 420 IU
- Atlantic mackerel 3 oz = 320 IU
- Sardines 1 can = 250 IU
- Shrimp 3 oz = 150 IU
- Skim and 1% low-fat milk 1 cup = 100 IU
- Shittake mushrooms 4 items = 260 IU
- Fortified yogurts like Dannon Light & Fit 1 cup = 80 IU
- Fortified cereals:Multigrain Cheerios 1 cup = 40 IU; Post Bran Flakes 1 cup = 40 IU; Kashi Vive 1¼ cup = 80
There are supplements available for vitamin D as well, since it is not in as many food varieties. Go to your local health store, vitamin store or pharmacy and make another step towards a healthy you this fall/winter!