Vitamin D is an especially difficult vitamin to get enough of, and can be a very common deficiency.
The three ways to get more vitamin D (a critical fat-soluble vitamin) is through exposure to the sun, consuming through food and via supplements.
Why is vitamin D important?
Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium from our food and acts like a hormone to help us build strong bones. Vitamin D can also help with immune function, cellular growth, and help to prevent mood imbalances such as depression and seasonal affective disorder.
Not getting enough vitamin D can lead to bone diseases like osteomalacia and can also increase your risk of heart disease, autoimmune diseases, certain cancers, and even death.
How can I get enough vitamin D from the sun?
Your skin makes vitamin D when it’s exposed to the sun; that’s why it’s referred to as the “sunshine vitamin.” How much vitamin D your skin makes depends on many things. Location, season, clouds, clothing, all affect the amount of vitamin D your skin can produce from the sun. One standard recommendation is to get about 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. to the face, arms, legs, or back.
How can I get enough vitamin D from food?
Fatty fish, liver, and egg yolks naturally contain Vitamin D.
Some foods are “fortified” (which means vitamin D has been added) with vitamin D. These include milk, some orange juices, breakfast cereals, and yoghurt. The label of these products will state how much vitamin D is included within.
How can I get enough vitamin D from supplements?
Before you take vitamin D containing supplements, make sure you check that it won’t interact with other supplements or medications you may be taking. Always read your labels, and ask a healthcare professional for advice before taking any supplements.
Do not take more than the suggested dosage on the label of any vitamin D supplement, except under medical care.
The best thing, if you’re concerned, is to ask your healthcare professional to do a blood test and make a recommendation about how much vitamin in supplement form is right for you. Your healthcare practitioner may recommend higher amounts of vitamin D supplementation for a short time while under their care.
If you’re concerned, it’s best to request a blood test that tests your vitamin D levels to be sure what’s right for you. Always take supplements as directed.
Recipe (vitamin D): Super-Simple Grilled Salmon
4 wild salmon fillets
1 bunch asparagus
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 black pepper
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp. dried dill
4 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven broiler and raise the oven rack. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and place fish on top, skin-side down. Surround with a single layer of asparagus.
Sprinkle the fish and asparagus with sea salt, pepper, parsley, and dill. Drizzle with olive oil.
Broil for 8-10 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Serve with a side of rice or quinoa.