It’s really important to get more vitamin D from your diet, especially during lockdown. Vitamin D plays an essential role in cell growth, bone strength and a healthy immune system. Given the fact that we are now spending most of the day at home, there is actually an increased risk of developing vitamin D deficiency.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D is 600 international units (IU), which is 15 micrograms (mcg) for most adults. For individuals older than 80, the RDA is 800 IU (20 mcg).
To understand the big picture of vitamin D deficiency, before the coronavirus pandemic restrictions, almost 42 percent of Americans had this deficiency, now that percentage is increasing at an exponential rate as most of us are staying home to stop the spread of COVID-19. It’s crucial to add more vitamin-D-rich foods to your diet these days.
You can also opt for supplements. Lori Zanini, RD, a Los Angeles–based dietitian recommends vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), which is found in animal sources of food and is generally better absorbed in the body, though plant-derived vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is used in supplements as well. However, research is mixed on whether vitamin D supplements offer concrete health benefits.
Still, “getting vitamin D from food is a priority,” says Zanini. Read on to discover some healthy foods that are also high in vitamin D.