What is Vitamin D, and How Much Do I Need?
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium, allowing you to build strong bones. The vitamin also helps support a range of functions in your digestive, nervous, immune, and circulatory systems.
Clearly, it’s an important vitamin for your health - but how much should you be getting each day? While the scientific community has suggested several different amounts, the Reference Daily Allowance (RDA) for adults is generally accepted to be 600 IUs (international units) of vitamin D per day.
How to Get Your Daily Vitamin D Boost
One of our favorite ways to get vitamin D is through drinking a glass of cold milk! Cow’s milk is well-known for being one of the best food sources for vitamin D - one cup of a2 Milk® Whole gives you 120 IUs, or 15% of your daily recommended intake. And milk’s versatility means you can sneak a serving into a variety of different meals throughout the day!
If you’re not a fan of drinking milk plain, blend it up into a nourishing smoothie or creamy coffee drink to start your morning off right. Nibble on some custard tarts or crudites with creamy ranch dressing if you feel snacky throughout the day. Or, spoon up a hearty, cream-based mushroom soup for dinner - as a bonus, mushrooms also contribute to your daily dose of vitamin D!
Bask in the Sun
Vitamin D is sometimes referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” for a good reason - direct exposure to sunlight can help your body naturally produce this essential vitamin! All it takes is a few minutes to reap the benefits.
Eat Fatty Fish
Fish that are typically considered oily or fatty are chock-full of vitamin D. Cooking up some trout, salmon, sardines, tuna, or cod a few times a week can help you reach your recommended daily intake of the vitamin.
The exact amount of vitamin D depends on the type of fish you choose. Three ounces of rainbow trout has 645 IUs, while a similar amount of cooked salmon has 570 IUs. If you can stomach plain cod liver oil, one tablespoon will put you well above the daily value, at around 1,360 IUs per serving.
Explore Vitamin D Supplements
If you feel like you can’t get your daily recommended allowance of vitamin D from the sun or through food, you may consider learning more about vitamin D supplements. Before turning straight to supplements, see if there’s a way that you can increase your sun exposure or add more milk, fatty fish, or other food high in vitamin D into your diet.
If you want to look into vitamin D supplements, talk to your doctor first. They can test your vitamin D levels to see if you have a deficiency and ensure vitamin D pills won’t negatively react with other supplements or medications you may be taking.
If you’ve decided to up your vitamin D intake by incorporating more milk into your diet, we’re here to help! Explore our recipe blog to find delicious, milk-based recipes, and pick up a carton of a2 Milk at your nearest grocery store today.