The act of taking a multivitamin or a small handful of supplements feels like such a self-care victory each day. That may be especially true if you count Vitamin D as part of your regimen, since it delivers so many benefits for staying healthy right now. However, says one registered dietitian, if you're not pairing your Vitamin D supplement with an important group of foods, you're probably not enabling your body to fully absorb the vitamin's vast benefits.
A quick nutrition tutorial: According to the Mayo Clinic, anyone between one year old and 70 years should be getting 600 international units (IUs) of Vitamin D each day. After age 70, that amount should increase to 800 IU.
If you take Vitamin D to reach the ideal daily intake for you, that's wise—but science suggests you should take that capsule with a little something more.
As MindBodyGreen points out, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means that unlike some other vitamins, Vitamin D doesn't dissolve when it's accompanied by water. Instead, it needs to be paired with fat to be properly distributed in, and absorbed by, the body.
An important key to this, said Whitney Crouch, RDN, CLT, is that the fat you consume alongside your Vitamin D should be a "beneficial fat." Crouch names olive oil, avocado, and flax as examples of healthy fats.
Just how much fat do you need to accompany your Vitamin D? One 2013 study suggested that foods with around 10 grams of fat may support ideal absorption of Vitamin D. A couple slices of smoked salmon, a small handful of nuts, or a tablespoon of all-natural nut butter blended into your morning smoothie could also be easy suggestions to help you achieve this.
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