Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin.” Why? Because our skin makes it when it’s exposed to sunlight.
This vitamin has been the talk of the town for years, mostly because it helps our bones absorb calcium.
But recently, researchers have found another big plus of vitamin D: it might play a starring role in supporting our immune system.
Our immune system is like our body’s security team, always on the lookout for unwelcome invaders, like viruses or bacteria. A strong immune system can ward off these troublemakers and keep us healthy.
So, the fact that vitamin D might give our security team a boost is excellent news, especially when colds and flu are going around.
What Foods Can Give Us This Immune Boost?
Not everyone can get enough sunshine, especially during the darker months. Plus, constantly being in the sun without protection isn’t good for our skin. So, the big question is: if we can’t always get our vitamin D from the sun, what foods can help?
Fatty Fish: Topping the chart are fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. These are like nature’s little vitamin D powerhouses. Just half a fillet of salmon can give you more than your daily needed dose of vitamin D.
Fortified Foods: Some foods don’t naturally have vitamin D but get some added to them. These are called “fortified foods.”
The most common one is milk, but you can also find vitamin D in fortified orange juice and cereals. It’s like a bonus to your breakfast!
Egg Yolks: Eggs are another tasty way to boost your vitamin D intake. The yolk, the yellow center part, is where the vitamin D is. So, next time you’re whipping up an omelet, don’t ditch the yolk!
Mushrooms: These are a fun one. Mushrooms can make vitamin D when they’re exposed to sunlight, just like us! But there’s a catch.
The kind of vitamin D they make is different from what we get from fish or the sun. It’s still beneficial but in a different way. So, while mushrooms can help, they shouldn’t be your only source of vitamin D.
Solid Evidence: Foods and Immune Support
Researchers have taken a deep dive into how vitamin D-rich foods can help our immune system. In various studies, they found that people with low vitamin D levels tend to get sick more often.
On the other hand, those who had a good amount of vitamin D, either from foods, supplements, or the sun, were better fighters against colds and the flu.
One big study looked at over 10,000 participants. They found that taking vitamin D supplements helped decrease the risk of respiratory infections.
These are infections that can give you stuff like a cold, bronchitis, or pneumonia.
Another exciting discovery was that vitamin D could give an extra protective boost to people with chronically low levels. It’s like giving them a protective shield against infections.
Wrapping it Up: Dive into Vitamin D
Vitamin D looks like a superhero when it comes to supporting our immune system. While the sun is a great source, we can also turn to foods like fatty fish, fortified foods, egg yolks, and mushrooms.
If you’re considering supplements, it’s a good idea to chat with a doctor or nutritionist first. They can guide you on the right amount and make sure it fits in with any other medicines or supplements you’re taking.
In the end, with colds, flu, and other bugs around, it’s comforting to know that something as simple as adjusting our diet can give our immune system the backup it needs.
Follow us on Twitter for more articles about this topic.
Copyright © 2023 Scientific Diet. All rights reserved.