Published: Friday, 22 July 2016 10:45
9 Healthy Foods that are High in Vitamin D
Vitamin D is unique, because it can be obtained from food and sun exposure.
However, up to 50% of the world’s population may not get enough sunlight, and 40% of people in the US are deficient in vitamin D
This is partly because people spend more time indoors, wear sunblock outside and eat a Western diet low in good sources of this vitamin.
Here are 9 healthy foods that are high in vitamin D.
Salmon is a popular fatty fish and also a great source of vitamin D.
According to nutrient databases, one 3.5-oz (100-gram) serving of salmon contains between 361 and 685 IU of vitamin D
However, it is usually not specified whether salmon is wild or farmed. This might not seem important, but it can make a big difference.
One study found that wild-caught salmon contains 988 IU of vitamin D per 3.5-oz (100-gram) serving, on average. That’s 247% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Farmed salmon contained only 25% of that amount, on average. Still, that means a serving of farmed salmon contains about 250 IU of vitamin D, which is 63% of the RDI
Bottom Line: Wild salmon is better.
2. Herring and Sardines
Herring is a fish eaten around the world. It can be served raw, canned, smoked or pickled.
It’s also one of the best sources of vitamin D.
Fresh Atlantic herring provides 1,628 IU per 3.5-oz (100-gram) serving, which is four times the RDI
If fresh fish isn’t your thing, pickled herring is also a great source of vitamin D, providing 680 IU per 3.5-oz (100-gram) serving. That’s 170% of the RDI.
Sardines are another type of herring that is also a good source of vitamin D. One serving contains 272 IU, which is 68% of the RDI
Other types of fatty fish are also good vitamin D sources. Halibut provides 600 IU per serving and mackerel provides 360 IU per serving
Be warned, these food come with a lot of salt, so definitely limit and watch your intake.
Bottom Line: Herring contains 1,628 IU of vitamin D per 3.5-oz (100-gram) serving. Pickled herring, sardines and other fatty fish such as halibut and mackerel are also good sources.
3. Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is a popular supplement. If you don’t like fish, taking cod liver oil can be a good way to obtain certain nutrients that are hard to get from other sources.
At about 450 IU per teaspoon (4.9 ml), cod liver oil is an excellent source of vitamin D. It’s been used for many years to prevent and treat deficiency in children
However, it’s best to be cautious with cod liver oil and not take more than you need.
Bottom Line: Cod liver oil contains 450 IU of vitamin D per teaspoon (4.9 ml). It is also high in other nutrients, such as vitamin A.
4. Canned Tuna
Many people enjoy canned tuna because of its light flavour and the fact that it can be kept on-hand in the pantry.
It is also usually cheaper than buying fresh fish.
Canned light tuna contains up to 236 IU of vitamin D in a 100-gram (3.5-oz) serving, which is more than half of the RDI.
Light tuna is typically a better choice than white tuna.
Bottom Line: Canned tuna contains 236 IU of vitamin D per serving. Choose light tuna and eat 6 oz or less per week
Oysters are a type of clam that live in salt water. They are delicious, low in calories and full of nutrients.
One 3.5-oz (100-gram) serving of wild oysters has only 68 calories, but contains 320 IU of vitamin D, or 80% of the RDI.
In addition, one serving of oysters contains 2–6 times more than the RDI of vitamin B12, copper and zinc — far more than multivitamins contain.
Bottom Line: Oysters are full of nutrients and provide 320 IU of vitamin D. They also contain more vitamin B12, copper and zinc than a multivitamin.
Shrimp are a popular type of shellfish.
Yet unlike most other seafood sources of vitamin D, shrimp are very low in fat.
Despite this fact, they still contain a good amount of vitamin D — 152 IU per serving, or 38% of the RDI
Bottom Line: Shrimp contain 152 IU of vitamin D per serving and are also very low in fat. They do contain cholesterol, but this is not a cause for concern.
7. Egg Yolks
Luckily for people who don’t like fish, seafood is not the only source of vitamin D. Whole eggs are another good source, as well as a wonderfully nutritious food.
While most of the protein in an egg is found in the egg white, the fat, vitamins and minerals are found mostly in the egg yolk.
One conventionally grown egg yolk contains between 18 and 39 IU of vitamin D, which isn’t very high
However, pasture-raised chickens that roam outside in the sunlight produce eggs with levels that are three to four times higher
Choosing eggs that are either from chickens raised outside or that are marketed as high in vitamin D can be a great way to help meet your daily requirements.
Bottom Line: Eggs from commercially raised hens contain only about 30 IU of vitamin D per yolk. However, eggs from hens raised outside or fed vitamin D-enriched feed contain much higher levels.
Excluding fortified foods, mushrooms are the only plant source of vitamin D.
Similar to humans, mushrooms can synthesize this vitamin when exposed to UV light
Some varieties contain up to 2,300 IU per 3.5-oz (100-gram) serving.
Commercially grown mushrooms, on the other hand, are often grown in the dark and contain very little vitamin D2.
Bottom Line: Only wild mushrooms or mushrooms treated with UV light are good sources of vitamin D.
9. Fortified Foods
Natural sources of vitamin D are limited, especially if you’re a vegetarian or don’t like fish.
Fortunately, some foods that don’t naturally contain vitamin D are fortified with it.
Cow’s milk, the type of milk that most people drink, is naturally a good source of many nutrients including calcium, phosphorous and riboflavin
In several countries, cow’s milk is fortified with vitamin D. It usually contains about 130 IU per cup (237 ml), or about 33% of the RDI.
Because vitamin D is found almost exclusively in animal products, vegetarians and vegans are at particularly high risk of not getting enough of it.
For this reason, plant-based milks such as soy milk are also often fortified with it, as well as other vitamins and minerals usually found in cow’s milk.
Around 75% of people worldwide are lactose intolerant, and another 2–3% have a milk allergy
For this reason, some countries fortify orange juice with vitamin D and other nutrients, such as calcium.
One cup (237 ml) of fortified orange juice for breakfast can start your day off with up to 142 IU of vitamin D, or 36% of the RDI
Cereal and Oatmeal
Certain cereals and instant oatmeal are also fortified with vitamin D.One half-cup serving of these foods can provide between 55 and 154 IU, or up to 39% of the RDI
Although fortified cereals and oatmeal provide less vitamin D than many natural sources, they can still be a good way to boost your intake.
Bottom Line: Some foods are fortified with vitamin D, including cow’s milk, soy milk, orange juice, cereals and oatmeal. They contain between 55 and 130 IU per serving.
Take Home Message
Spending some time outside in the sun is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. However, getting sufficient sun exposure is not possible for many people.
Getting enough from your diet alone is difficult, but not impossible.
Eating plenty of these vitamin D-rich foods is a great way to make sure you get enough of this important nutrient.
Published: Thursday, 05 May 2016 23:19
High blood sugar occurs when your body can’t effectively transport sugar from blood into cells. When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes.
One study from 2012 reported that 12–14% of US adults had type 2 diabetes, while 37–38% were classified as pre-diabetic. This means that 50% of all US adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Fortunately, you could lower blood sugar levels naturally though some easy ways:
1. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity, which means that cells are more able to use the available sugar in the bloodstream. Exercise also helps the muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction.
Good forms of exercise include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming and more.
Bottom Line: Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and helps your muscles pick up sugars from the blood. This can lead to reduced blood sugar levels.
2. Control your carb intake
The body breaks carbs down into sugars (mostly glucose), and then insulin moves the sugars into cells. When eating too many carbs or have problems with insulin function, this process fails and blood glucose levels rise.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends controlling carb intake by counting carbs or using a food exchange system. Some studies find that these methods can also help plan your meals appropriately, which may further improve blood sugar control.
Bottom Line: Carbs are broken down into glucose, which raises blood sugar levels. Reducing carbohydrate intake can help with blood sugar control.
3. Increase your fiber intake
Fiber slows carb digestion and sugar absorption. For these reasons, it can help blood sugar rise in a steadier way.
Furthermore, the type of fiber taken in may play a role. There are two kinds of fiber: insoluble and soluble. While both are important, soluble fiber specifically has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.
The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. That’s about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories.
Bottom Line: Eating plenty of fiber can help with blood sugar control, and soluble dietary fiber is the most effective.
4. Drink water and stay hydrated
Hydration is a key factor for lowering blood sugar levels. During dehydration, the hormone vasopressin causes the liver to produce blood sugar, elevating its levels. The kidneys then try to get rid of excess blood sugar through urine, making one lose water in the process.
Drinking water regularly re-hydrates the blood, lowers blood sugar levels and reduces diabetes risk.
Keep in mind that water and other non-caloric beverages are best. Sugar-sweetened drinks raise blood glucose, drive weight gain and increase diabetes risk.
Bottom Line: Staying hydrated can reduce blood sugar levels and help prevent diabetes. Water is best.
5. Implement portion control
Portion control helps regulate calorie intake and can result in weight loss.
Consequentially, controlling the weight promotes healthy blood sugar levels and has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Monitoring the serving size of food also helps reduce calorie intake and subsequent blood sugar spikes.
Here are some helpful tips for controlling portions:
Measure and weigh portions.
Use smaller plates.
Avoid all-you-can-eat restaurants.
Read food labels and check the serving sizes.
Keep a food journal.
Bottom Line: The more control you have over your serving sizes the better control you will have over your blood sugar levels.
6. Choose foods with a low glycemic index
The glycemic index was developed to assess the body’s blood sugar response to foods that contain carbs. Both the amount and type of carbs determine how a food affects blood sugar levels.
Eating low-glycemic-index foods has been shown to reduce long-term blood sugar levels in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Bottom Line: It’s important to choose foods with a low glycemic index and watch your overall carb intake.
7. Control stress levels
Stress can affect your blood sugar levels.
Hormones such as glucagon and cortisol are secreted during stress. These hormones cause blood sugar levels to go up.
Exercises and relaxation methods like yoga and mindfulness-based stress reduction can also correct insulin secretion problems in chronic diabetes.
Bottom Line: Controlling stress levels through exercise or relaxation methods such as yoga will help you control blood sugars.
8. Monitor your blood sugar levels
“What gets measured gets managed.” Measuring and monitoring blood glucose levels can also help you control them.
It will also help you find out how your body reacts to certain foods. Try measuring your levels every day, and keeping track of the numbers in a log.
Bottom Line: Checking your sugars and maintaining a log every day will help you adjust foods and medications to decrease your sugar levels.
9. Get enough quality sleep
Getting enough sleep feels great and is necessary for good health. Poor sleeping habits and a lack of rest also affect blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. They can increase appetite and promote weight gain.
Sleep deprivation decreases the release of growth hormones and increases cortisol levels. Both of these play an important role in blood sugar control.
Bottom Line: Good sleep helps maintain blood sugar control and promote a healthy weight. Poor sleep can disrupt important metabolic hormones.
10. Try apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has many benefits for your health. It increases blood sugar use by cells and decreases its production by the liver. It also reduces fasting blood sugar levels.
What’s more, studies show that vinegar significantly influences your body’s response to sugars and improves insulin sensitivity. To incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet, you can add it to salad dressings or mix 2 teaspoons in 8 ounces of water.
However, it’s important to check with your doctor before taking apple cider vinegar if you are already taking medications that lower blood sugar.
Bottom Line: Adding apple cider vinegar to your diet can help your body in many ways, including reducing blood sugar levels.
11. Experiment with cinnamon extract
Cinnamon is known to have many health benefits. For one, it has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity by decreasing insulin resistance at the cellular level.
It slows the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract, which decreases the amount of blood sugar entering cells after a meal.
Cinnamon also acts in a similar way as insulin, although at a much slower rate. An effective dose is 1–6 grams of cinnamon per day, or about 0.5–2 teaspoons.
However, definitely don’t take more than that since too much cinnamon can be harmful.
Bottom Line: Cinnamon has been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
12. Try berberine
Berberine is the active component of a Chinese herb that’s been used to treat diabetes for thousands of years. Berberine has been shown to help lower blood sugar and enhance the breakdown of carbs for energy.
What’s more, berberine may be as effective as some blood sugar lowering drugs. This makes it one of the most effective supplements for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
However, many of the mechanisms behind its effects are still unknown. Additionally, it may have some side effects. Diarrhea, constipation, flatulence and abdominal pain have been reported.
A common dosage protocol is 1,500 mg per day, taken before meals as 3 doses of 500 mg.
Bottom Line: Berberine works well for lowering blood sugar levels and can help manage diabetes. However, it may have some digestive side effects.
13. Eat fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek seeds are a great source of soluble fiber, which can help control blood sugar levels.
Many studies have shown that fenugreek can effectively lower blood sugar in diabetics. It also helps reduce fasting glucose and improve glucose tolerance.
Although not that popular, fenugreek can easily be added to baked goods to help treat diabetes. You can also make fenugreek flour or brew it into tea.
Fenugreek seeds are also considered one of the safest herbs for diabetes.
The recommended dose of fenugreek seeds is 2–5 grams per day.
Bottom Line: Consider giving fenugreek seeds a try. They are easy to add to your diet and can help regulate blood glucose levels.
14. Lose some weight
It’s a no-brainer that maintaining a healthy weight will improve your health and prevent future health problems.
Weight control also promotes healthy blood sugar levels and has been shown to reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
Even a 7% reduction in body weight can decrease your risk of developing diabetes by up to 58%, and it seems to work even better than medication.
You should also be conscious of your waistline, as it is perhaps the most important weight-related factor for estimating your diabetes risk.
A measurement of 35 inches (88.9 cm) or more for women and 40 inches (101.6 cm) or more for men is associated with an increased risk of developing insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes.
Having a healthy waist measurement may be even more important than your overall weight.
Bottom Line: Keeping a healthy weight and waistline will help you maintain normal blood sugar levels and decrease your risk of developing diabetes.
Take Home Message
Make sure to check with your doctor before making lifestyle changes or trying new supplements.
This is particularly important if you have problems with blood sugar control or if you are taking medications to lower your sugar levels.
That being said, if you are diabetic or have problems with blood sugar control, then you should start doing something about it as soon as possible.
Source: Authority Nutrition