Time and time again, evidence that links mental health and food has been found. While it's common knowledge that what you eat can keep you away from certain diseases, it also offers the benefit of keeping one in sound mental health too. This article that lists 5 foods to improve mental health should be an interesting read, for starters.
With that said, one can't help but think of the Hippocrates quote, which reads, "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food."
If what you think influences you emotionally, then what you eat influences how you look physically as well. This is why athletes are almost compulsorily required to eat foods that are dedicated to strengthening their bodies and keeping them at optimal levels of fitness.
And in particular, studies have shown that athletes that have higher levels of Vitamin D tend to perform much better than their counterparts. Of course, not all of us have job descriptions that match that of an athlete but you get the picture, right?
Vitamin D – 5 Benefits
As a whole, the number of benefits that vitamin D foods have to offer, in terms of benefits, are many, and which pertain to different aspects of our physical health.
So, here are 5 benefits of Vitamin D:
#1: The first and most advertised benefit of vitamin D is the fact that due to the presence of calcium and phosphorus, you will benefit from having strong bones and a fortified immune system. This prevents conditions such as arthritis, osteomalacia, rickets and osteoporosis.
#2: Vitamin D aids in the treatment of several diseases namely cancer, diabetes mellitus, hyperparathyroidism, hypophosphatemia, renal osteodystrophy, fibromyalgia, preaclamsia and hypocalcaemia.
#3: It improves muscle function and this includes recovery from daily activity as well all forms of exercise.
#4:An interesting benefit of Vitamin D include the prevention of obesity as it produces leptin which keeps your appetite in check and helps you slim down in the process. Higher levels of Vitamin D can help fat loss efforts even in winter.
#5: If you have hypertension, then Vitamin D can help lower blood pressure. This applies to pregnant women as well.
Bonus Benefit: Vitamin D also helps protecting lung function especially if you're a smoker.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need Really?
Just 15 minutes of sunshine twice a week should do. However, if your doctor suggests that you do take supplements or foods that are high in Vitamin D, then the daily recommended limit is 1000 IU so as to build sufficient level of 25 hydroxyvitamin D in our bloodstream.
Vitamin D Foods – A List to Consider
So, without further ado, here is a list of vitamin D foods that you can consider if you are low on this vitamin:
1. Cod liver oil
3. Fortified butter
4. Fish such as Herring, Kippers, Salmon, Mackerel, Pilchard, Sardines, Tuna and Roe
5. Shrimp (boiled or steamed)
6. Cow's milk
7. Eggs (whole or boiled)
Are there any other Vitamin D foods that might make it to this list? Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below.