Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins that the body needs to function. It is a family of compounds that includes vitamins D1, D2, and D3. It is naturally produced by the body as a response to exposure to the sun. The body also gets vitamin D from eating foods that are rich in vitamins, as well as fortified vitamins.
Vitamin D has so many benefits to the body, including
- Vitamin D strengthens the bones as it aids the absorption of calcium. Calcium is necessary for the growth and development of strong and healthy bones. Vitamin D would make it easier and faster for the body to absorb calcium. This would help prevent the bones from being brittle and also reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Vitamin D also helps strengthen the muscles. In this aspect, it is particularly good for the elderly as it can help them maintain better support for their muscles as stronger muscles would reduce the risk of falls, which is more prevalent during old age.
- Vitamin D supports the proper functioning of the immune system, brain, and nervous system.
- Vitamin D helps to regulate mood and decrease the risk of depression. Research has shown a link between depression and a lack of vitamin D, which may prove that proper intake of vitamin D would fight depression.
- Vitamin D may help support weight loss. Studies have shown that obese people who were losing weight included vitamin D in their diet compared to those who did not eat vitamin D-rich food.
- Vitamin D deficiency could lead to symptoms including fatigue, hair loss, muscle pain, low mood, and more. To prevent all of that, you have to make sure you take in enough Vitamin D.
Vitamin D Foods In Nigeria
The recommended daily value (DV) of vitamin D is 800 IU (20 mcg) per day from foods. These are some of the Nigerian foods that are rich in vitamin D:
Some fish like mackerel, salmon, sardine, and tuna, are rich in vitamin D, as well as a range of other essential vitamins and minerals. Catfish is another popular fatty fish and a great source of vitamin D.
2. Egg yolk
Eggs are nutritious, but the part of the egg that contains the most nutrients, including vitamin D, is the yolk. The vitamin D content in one egg yolk depends on several factors, including the quality of the feed and if the chicken that laid the egg received enough sunlight. Either way, you can still expect to take in vitamin D when you eat eggs.
Mushrooms are very healthy and nutritious. In Nigeria, people often use it as a garnish for soups and other meals. A common edible mushroom in Nigeria is the slippery jack mushroom. Slippery Jack is a good source of vitamin D and is an excellent option for those who are vegan or looking for a non-animal source of vitamin D.
4. Beef Liver
Beef liver is one of the best sources of vitamin D from animal protein. It contains more protein than red meat and is a healthier option. 100 grams of beef liver contains 1.1 McG of vitamin D.
5. Fura da nono
Fura da nono is a local type of gruel made from millet balls (fura) and cow milk (nono). It is a popular dairy product in Nigeria. Fura da nono is extremely rich in vitamin D, as well as many nutrients other such as calcium, phosphorous, and riboflavin.
Pork is the meat obtained from a domestic pig. It is generally high in vitamin D. In fact, 100 grams of boiled pork contains 1.3 mcg of vitamin D. Pork meat is popular in Nigeria and is added to many delicacies.
7. Vitamin D Fortified Foods
This includes cereals, dairy, orange juice, yoghurt, oatmeal, and more. These are regular foods that have been fortified with extra nutrients, like vitamin D, to provide the body with more of the vitamin.
Adding these foods to your daily diet would make sure you get an adequate intake of vitamin D. You can also take vitamin D fortified supplements to increase your vitamin D intake.
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