Making Sure You're Getting Enough Vitamin D
Last updated: March 2022
Large numbers of Americans experience a vitamin D (aka, the sunshine vitamin) deficiency during the winter months and many fight low Vitamin D numbers all year long.
Why is vitamin D so important?
Vitamin D assists in keeping our bones and bodies strong because it helps us to better absorb calcium. Low vitamin D has been linked to increased depression, muscle weakness, heart disease, weight gain, and other conditions including cancers. On the flip side, consistently good levels of vitamin D may help us to combat different types of cancers, osteoporosis, depression, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases including diabetes - but more studies need to be done. 1
How do I get vitamin D?
So, how can we make sure we’re getting enough vitamin D on a daily basis, especially in the winter months? THANKS, I thought you’d never ask!
Go outside and get some sun
I realize in many parts of the country it’s cold, but a little goes a long way. Try your best to get outside for 15 to 20 minutes, three days a week. Sitting and/or walking in the sun for 20 minutes can make you feel great!
Eat more food with vitamin D
We are what we eat - and that means eating more foods with high amounts of the D vitamin.
- Proteins high in D include fatty fish like: salmon, tuna, swordfish, mackerel sardines, eggs, and hard cheeses.
- Vegetables high in vitamin D include: mushrooms, spinach, kale, okra, collard greens, white beans, soybeans, tofu, seaweed, and citrus.
- Fortified foods (foods that have extra nutrients added to them) include: milk (animal and plant-based), yogurt, orange juice (a little goes a long way), and steel-cut oats.
Ask your doctor
Talk to your doctor about taking a daily vitamin D nutritional supplement. Make sure the supplement you both agree on is a good option for you and is okay to take with your daily medications.
How often do you find yourself craving sweet snacks?