Vitamin D is one of the most consumed dietary supplements in North America. In addition to playing several roles in overall health, vitamin D can be rather challenging to get.
There are not many vitamin D-rich foods, and unless you’re living in a sunny climate and spend a lot of time outdoors, there is a good chance you’re running low. Vitamin D supplements are often recommended by doctors to ensure adequate daily intake.
Vitamin D plays a role in heart health, bone health, brain health, and more.
But your body doesn’t always like supplements. It’s not that it will flat-out reject them, but absorption isn’t always particularly high. When it comes to vitamin D, your body prefers to get it from the sun or food.
Increasing absorption rates, or bioavailability, from supplements often requires eating them with certain foods. Healthy food contains nutrients that can aid absorption and activation in the body.
Allowing the supplemented nutrient to mix in with the entire package, so to speak.
To maximize absorption and get the most from your vitamin D supplement, you may want to eat it with magnesium-rich foods like bananas, avocado, almonds, or pumpkin seeds.
Why? A study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that magnesium is required to optimize the benefits of vitamin D supplements. To get the most benefit, getting the daily recommended intake of magnesium is required.
That means 310-320 milligrams (mg) for women and 400-420 mg for men.
Bananas are a good source of magnesium, but it might be better to take your vitamin D supplement with avocado, nuts, seeds, or nut butter. The reason for this is that vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so eating it with magnesium-rich fatty foods can boost absorption even more.
To get the most from your supplements, try taking them correctly. Many nutritional supplements should be taken with foods with complementary nutrients that can maximize absorption to ensure you get the benefits you want.