Vitamin D is one of the most essential nutrient required for your overall well being. Just about 600IU a day can help prevent the risk of falls and hip fractures in the elderly, reduce influenza infections by 40%, improve heart function and speed up wound healing.

However, these are just the bare minimums that Vitamin D so valiantly battles everyday to make sure we are at our best. Some of the big boys that Vitamin D is constantly battling on our behalf is cancer (Pretty much all types), high blood pressure, osteoporosis, rickets, depression, diabetes, heard and kidney diseases, Tuberculosis, Respiratory infections, influenza, Obesity and Hair loss.

As you can tell by now, Vitamin D when combined with calcium should be definitely in your diet. Some food sources that we can recommend that are fairly high in Vitamin D would be salmon, sardines, mackerel, shrimp, cod, eggs, cow's milk and yoghurt. Although these are great sources, we highly recommend that you get your Vitamin D (Any type of nutrient actually) from plant based sources.

Why? Animal protein (Even if high in calcium) will actually cause you to loose more calcium due to the naturally high acidic levels in meat. That is why in western countries, where there is already a substantially high number of meat eaters when compared to the rest of the world, also happens to have the highest number of people diagnosed with fatal diseases such as Cancer and Osteoporosis (A disease caused by lack of Calcium and Vitamin D).

Regrettably, it's not often that we can get the required intake of certain nutrients from our diet. This is where supplementation is highly recommended to make sure your Calcium and Vitamin D levels are topped up. It is essential that you only use a plant based calcium supplement.

At the moment, there are only a handful of plant based calcium supplements out there. No matter which one you pick, make sure it is organic and contains Vitamin D3 (Not just Vitamin D). This is essential or you might as well just throw your money down the drain.

So what is the difference between Vitamin D and Vitamin D3? Vitamin D is only available in two forms, Vitamin D2 or better known as just Vitamin D and Vitamin D3.

Vitamin D3 is the only kind of Vitamin D that is absorbed thoroughly in the body. Vitamin D2 (Better known as Vitamin D) is found in low quality supplements. Most researches actually advise against using Vitamin D2 in any way for human consumption.

You see, since Vitamin D2 is easy and cheap to produce, most companies and especially the calcium supplement manufacturers get by just by putting on Vitamin D on the label. These supplements are absolutely useless and you are no matter how much calcium they claim to contain, it is not getting absorbed.

So at the end of the day, make sure you are set with your Calcium and Vitamin D3 intake. Plus remember, Vitamin D3 is actually freely present in nature as well. Just go for a 30 minute walk on a nice sunny day and your body will get a nice amount of Vitamin D3.

Author's Bio: 

Jules Burns is the senior health advisor at CDP.