Did you know that the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D for women over 50 is 600 international units (IU) per day? This amount increases to 800 IU per day for adults over 70. These recommendations are made by The Institute of Medicine. Unfortunately, most American are deficient in this vitamin.
Why we need Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays an important role in strengthening our bones, helping our nervous system as well as our heart. It also impacts our mood and ability to sleep well. Low levels can leave you feeling tired, moody, depressed, having muscle pain, experiencing frequent illness and hair loss.
3 Ways to get Vitamin D
- The Sun
Vitamin D and the Sun
Some may refer to Vitamin D as the “sunshine vitamin” because our bodies are designed to convert UV rays from the sun into this critical hormone. The problem is that as we get older, our bodies become less efficient at this task. In addition, we know that too much time in the sun can be dangerous so many people avoid the sun altogether. We can assume that this is not an effective option for women over 50.
Vitamin D in Food/Diet
Another way to get Vitamin D is through the food you eat. However, the typical American diet tends to not be rich in this nutrient. By changing your diet to Vitamin D rich foods, you can increase your daily intake. Some examples of foods to consider are:
- Fatty fish (Salmon, Trout)
- Fortified milk
While this is not an exclusive list, it gives you an idea of some foods to try.
Vitamin D Supplements
The most effective way to meet the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D is through supplements. There are many brands and prices that can be found at your local pharmacy, grocery/retail stores as well as online. Keep in mind that you should always check with your doctor before starting a supplement to make sure that it fits your needs.
So ladies…. while it might be better to stay out of the sun, don’t neglect this very important aspect of your health. Check with your doctor to see what your Vitamin D levels are and together come up with a plan that will be best for you.