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Certain nutrients are essential for health but are difficult to obtain from the diet (even if following a whole food, nutrient-dense diet). Vitamin D is one of them.
This fat-soluble vitamin can be synthesized in the skin, by activation of cholesterol by the UVB rays from the sun, and it can also be obtained from a few foods. Good sources of vitamin D include cold-water fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines, anchovies, and herring), trout, fish liver oils, beef liver, eggs, and mushrooms.
Vitamin D is essential for bone maintenance and development, but it is also required for proper immune, endocrine, and cardiovascular function.
Proper levels of vitamin D are needed to maintain the gut microbiome in balance and are also needed to maintain the integrity of the intestinal lining. This is particularly important if you suffer from intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut).
Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increase in the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.
This makes it very important to make sure our intake of foods rich in this vital vitamin is good. You should aim to consume good food sources of vitamin D, 3-5 times per week. Salmon is a fantastic choice.