Why You Need Vitamin D

The Stir Bloggers

Sunlight is free Vitamin D.

Living longer and staying strong. Those are the two main reasons I eat healthy, work out and avoid sugar. But I'm starting to understand why we need to add Vitamin D to our regimes. This week, on Time.com, researcher speculate that Vitamin D may prevent breast cancer if we take it in high doses long-term, like 2,000 IUs. That seems like a lot, so I started looking for more advice.

Recently, Dr. Oz talked about Vitamin D on Oprah. He recommended 1,000 IUs daily to prevent cancer, reduce heart problems and avoid many other issues like multiple sclerosis. It may even slow weight gain when taken with calcium. You should take supplements and get 10 minutes of direct sunlight per day, Dr. Oz says.

We know Vitamin D is great for our babies, as Cafe Suzanne posted recently in Baby Buzz. For more info on what it does for moms, I asked Suzanne Skapyak, R.D., and a nutrition scientist for Yoplait. Skapyak says:

  • Vitamin D and calcium are critical for maintaining bone health throughout our lifetimes.
  • 72 percent of women 19 to 50 years old do not meet recommended amounts of calcium and Vitamin D.
  • You should take supplements and also get the nutrients from foods like milk, yogurt and cheese. One serving of yogurt has about 25 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D.

I love yogurt, and it just so happens that Yoplait is one of my favorite brands (especially Thick and Creamy). Other great-tasting choices are Fage Total and Brown Cow. Watch out for sugar and fat in dairy foods, and look for plain or low-calorie yogurt and keep count of the fat grams to make sure you're staying within your daily goals, Skapyak adds. (Personally, I mix plain yogurt with flavored brands to cut calories without cutting yumminess.) Milk and cheese can be other great ways to add Vitamin D and calcium. 

Do you think Vitamin D is important? How do you try to get it every day?

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