The Best Fortified Foods for Calcium and Vitamin D
Some manufacturers add nutrients into their products like, calcium and vitamin D. If you are trying to get most of your vitamin D and calcium from your diet, you may want to include foods that are enriched with these nutrients to provide additional nourishment to your daily consumption of these bone-building and preserving foods.
When you get calcium through your diet, it’s best to limit your intake to 500-600 milligrams per serving, since our bodies will not absorb more than that with each serving. For females over the age of 50, the National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends getting 1,000 milligrams a day from all sources foods and supplements.
To find out how much vitamin D you should get a day depends on the results of a blood test called a 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25 (OH) D]. If this test shows a major deficiency, your physician will provide the information on how much you should supplement in a day. A deficiency can cause rickets, Osteomalacia, hypocalcemia, hypophosphatemia and tetany. In some circumstances your doctor may provide a prescription of vitamin D3 for a period of time to boost your vitamin D levels in your blood. This dose can vary from 50,000 International Units (IUs) a day to 500,000 a month and above.
Here is a list of foods fortified with calcium and vitamin D to help you attain your daily needs of these nutrients.
Many of the foods we eat do not contain vitamin D, so we need to look for good choices of fortified foods containing vitamin D. Foods that naturally contain vitamin D are, egg yolks, sardines, cheese, beef liver, mushrooms and in the skin of fatty fish (tuna, mackerel and salmon). If you aren’t sure if a food has vitamin D or calcium in it, always check the label for the amounts listed.
To keep track of your daily intake of calcium and vitamin D you can use a nutrient calculator or keep a daily dairy to decide if you need to add supplements to your daily requirement.
- National Institute of Health. (November 10, 2014). Vitamin D Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Accessed March 12, 2015 from: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease. (January 2012) Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age. Accessed March 12, 2015 from: http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bone/bone_health/nutrition/#d
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Pam wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Osteoporosis.