There are many sources of vitamin D, which is needed for strong bones. So, eat dry fruits rich in vitamin D this winter.
Vitamin D or the sunshine vitamin can guard us against osteoporosis when we grow older. It also helps to prevent bone disease in children. Looking for a natural way to get enough vitamin D? Regular sun exposure is the solution, apart from eating the right foods such as salmon, tuna fish, dairy and plant milks fortified with vitamin D. You can add dry fruits to the list too as it turns out that some of the dry fruits are rich in vitamin D.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin, is essential for vital physiological functions such as maintaining bone health, supporting immune function, and regulating calcium and phosphorus levels in the body. Adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children from the age of 1 year need 10 micrograms of vitamin D in a day, as per the National Health Service.
Why do we need vitamin D?
Vitamin D is needed by your body for various reasons. Some of the reasons are:
1. Bone health
Vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption, says dietician Preeti Nagar. This helps in getting strong and healthy bones.
2. Immune system support
This vitamin plays a role in the immune system’s function. It helps to defend the body against all kinds of infections.
3. Mood regulation
There is a connection between vitamin D and mood regulation. It potentially enhances mental well-being, says the expert.
4. Chronic disease prevention
Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels is important. It may lower the risk of certain chronic conditions, including cardiovascular diseases.
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5. Muscle function
It is essential for proper muscle function. It may assist in preventing falls, particularly in older adults.
Which all dry fruits are rich in vitamin D?
Dry fruits exhibit variability in nutrient content, but typically, they contain crucial vitamins (A, C, K) and minerals (iron, potassium), says the expert. These elements play a vital role in promoting overall health by supporting functions such as vision, immune response, blood clotting, and maintaining electrolyte balance. Dry fruits are also rich in vitamin D, so you should eat them as part of your balanced diet. Here are some of them:
1. Dried apricots
They offer 1.5 International Units (IU) of vitamin D per 100 grams, says Nagar. They also provide essential vitamins and minerals like A, iron and potassium.
2. Dried figs
With around 3 IU of vitamin D per 100 grams, dried figs are also known for their fiber, calcium, potassium, and magnesium content.
Thinking of eating soaked almonds every morning? It’s a good choice, as almonds offer 9 percent of daily value (DV) of vitamin D. They also contain fiber, protein, calcium, vitamin E, copper and magnesium.
You can get around 82.00 IU of vitamin D per 100 grams, as per the expert. The sweet dry fruit also contains fiber and important minerals such as iron.
Prunes have around 3.7 mg of vitamin D. They also consist of other vitamins such as A, C and K.
Dates are a good source of the sunshine vitamin. They have around 2.2 mg of vitamin D along with fiber, protein, potassium and magnesium.
Cranberry is an excellent source of vitamin C, making it a star ingredient in skin care products. But it also has vitamin D (around 0.7 mg), so have it to improve your bone health.
What are the side effects of eating too many dry fruits?
It is advisable to incorporate a moderate daily intake of 4 to 5 varieties of dry fruits for a nutrient and vitamin-rich lifestyle, says Nagar. While rare, excessive intake of vitamin D can result in side effects such as hypercalcemia, characterised by elevated blood calcium levels, leading to symptoms like nausea, weakness, and potential kidney issues.
Obtaining the majority of your vitamin D from natural sources is crucial, and supplements should only be taken under medical guidance.
Don’t rely solely on dry fruits for vitamin D. Go for a balanced diet and opt for sources like fatty fish and fortified foods for optimal intake!