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Vitamin D: what foods to add to the diet to benefit from this important nutrient

Vitamin D is an important nutrient for our health, and it is even more so in special population groups such as pregnant women and growing children. It is an essential nutrient that helps incorporate calcium from the food we eat, strengthening the bone system. In addition, it plays a very important role in heart health and fighting infections.

Vitamin D is produced in the body when it is exposed to sunlight, but it is also present in some foods that we can add to our diet to benefit from this important nutrient .

Vitamin D for fertility and pregnancy

This vitamin already has an important role before pregnancy, it is considered fundamental in the improvement of fertility and in the prevention of abortions. During pregnancy , vitamin D is important for the development of the baby’s bones and a recent study has shown that it may help reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes . For its part, a deficit of this vitamin during pregnancy is related to low birth weight and language problems in children. The 25 best foods rich in calcium and how to make them effective.

The latest WHO recommendation (based on a scientific review on vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy ) does not recommend that pregnant women take vitamin D supplements , as “there are insufficient data to directly assess the benefits and harms of using only vitamin D supplements.

That is, it recommends a balanced diet that includes foods rich in Vitamin D.

Vitamin D in infants and children

According to a review carried out by the European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), a considerable number of healthy European children and adolescents (including Spanish children) would have vitamin D deficiency , a serious problem that could cause associated diseases.

In general, vitamin D deficiency is caused by a combination of dietary deficiencies and low exposure to sunlight, considering that food only provides 10 percent of the recommended amounts of vitamin D, while the sun provides 90 percent.

How to get Vitamin D

It is recommended to guarantee a minimum exposure of 15 minutes to the sun three or four times a week , or 10 minutes of face and hands a day. If we suffer from vitamin D deficiency or are at risk, the ideal is to bet on healthy foods rich in this micronutrient to guarantee adequate levels in the body.

Foods that provide Vitamin D

blue fish

Vitamin D is soluble in fats, which is why it is concentrated in many foods that have fats inside. The fish that have the highest proportion of vitamin are oily fish (also rich in Omega 3 ), especially present in salmon, herring, horse mackerel, sardines and anchovies . Freshwater fish such as trout or carp also stand out.

We can thus add vitamin D with fatty fish through a herring salad , a pasta with sardines , a pickled horse mackerel , a salmon en papillote or a warm salmon and prawn salad .

Dairy products

Milk , as well as its derivatives, such as yogurts and cheeses, are an important source of vitamin D, so they cannot be lacking in the diet.

In addition to having this vitamin itself, we can currently find many dairy products enriched with vitamin D. It is preferable to choose whole dairy products over skimmed ones , since fat favors the intake and assimilation of the vitamin.

We can add milk and dairy products to breakfast through a porridge , yogurt in a smoothie , fresh cheeses, a yogurt cake or at lunch and dinner as tortellini salad with creamy yogurt dressing: recipe to give more variety to pasta salads or a potato and Greek yogurt salad: recipe to forget mayonnaise .

Eggs

Eggs cannot be missing from the diet. Above all, egg yolk is a good source of vitamin D. Let us remember that although it used to be included late in the baby’s diet, in recent years it has been shown that it does not reduce the risk of allergy and due to its nutritional value , it is recommended to include it in complementary feeding from six months .

We can include them in a wide variety of recipes, from omelettes to pancakes for breakfast , deviled eggs , omelettes or a Mediterranean frittata for dinner time.

Fortified cereals

Cereals are a non-animal source of vitamin D with a good dose of this nutrient (57mg/100g), making them ideal for breakfast. Whole grains are preferable and avoid those that contain added sugars . They can be wheat, spelled, oats, rye, corn, rice, both whole and in flakes.

They can be eaten for breakfast or used to prepare our own bars , muffins or muesli .

mushrooms and mushrooms

Including mushrooms and fungi in your dishes will also increase the contribution of vitamin D to the diet. Those that have been exposed to ultraviolet light are a good source of this nutrient. It is important that we always buy them in authorized establishments, with all food safety measures, and not take wild mushrooms collected by us if we are not experts.

We can prepare them both combined with eggs , as well as grilled, in sautés , salads or with legumes .

beef liver

In addition to being an important source of iron, it is also an important source of folic acid and vitamin D. It also contains high doses of vitamin A or retinol , whose excess intake is not recommended during pregnancy , so its consumption must be occasional and in small amounts .

If you eat pâté, it is important to verify that it has been pasteurized and properly processed for its preservation, and discard homemade or natural pâtés that have not been cooked (over 70 degrees). For children, it is a good food to include in the diet, both in homemade pâté (pregnant women avoid), and in prepared dishes such as liver with onions .



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