Take Your Vitamin D at This Time
No doubt about it, vitamin D has risen to the ranks of nutritional superstardom. But you need to give this talent the red carpet treatment to really get a good show.
What does that mean? Research suggests this nutrient will perform best if you take it during your biggest meal of the day -- be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
D for Dinner?
About three-quarters of us are deficient in vitamin D. Too bad, because a growing body of research links this nutrient to an amazing list of health benefits, such as lower blood pressure, stronger bones, better immunity, and possibly even a lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers. One easy way to get your D is to spend some time outside each day; just 10 to 20 minutes of sun during peak hours is all you need. But a supplement is a great backup plan. And when researchers examined D-deficient middle-aged and older adults, they found that pairing the supplement with the largest meal of their day -- rather than small meals, snacks, or an empty stomach -- doubled the participants' blood levels. (How are you doing on D? Find out whether you should have your levels tested.)
Diving into D
Fortunately, the increase in blood levels was consistent, regardless of the type (cholecalciferol vs. ergocalciferol) or form (solid vs. oil based) of supplement taken. Want to get a little more D into your diet as well? EatingWell has some D-rich dishes you should try to sneak into your day:
- Make this Dr. Seuss-inspired veggie-and-egg breakfast: Green Eggs and Ham Frittata.
- Go Greek with these toasty tuna sandwiches: Mediterranean Tuna Panini.
- Whip up this French-bistro-style fish dinner that's ready in a flash: Mustard-Crusted Salmon.
Getting 400 international units of vitamin D and 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day can make your RealAge as much as 1.3 years younger. Take the RealAge Test!