Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that your body needs to build and maintain healthy bones and perform other essential processes. Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is a growing concern among healthcare professionals, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that 13% of the world’s population is affected by it.
Without an adequate vitamin D intake, adults and children can experience several health concerns, including rickets in children and osteopenia and osteoporosis in adults. A vitamin D deficiency can also increase the risk of autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and common cancers.
Vitamin D: The “Sunshine” Vitamin
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that aids the body in calcium absorption and promotes bones’ growth and mineralization. It’s also vital in helping your muscles move, nerves send messages, and the immune system in fighting bacteria and viruses.
How to Get Enough Vitamin D
- Get Lots of Sunlight. One of the best ways to get vitamin D is through the sun. Your skin contains a type of cholesterol that, when exposed to the sun’s UV rays, becomes vitamin D. However, sunlight isn’t always the most reliable source since your ability to be outside can depend on the time of the year. If you live in a climate that experiences cold winters or cloudy days, you may spend days indoors out of the sunlight.
Studies show that getting ten to 30 minutes of midday sunlight exposure three times a week should provide sufficient vitamin D. Keep in mind that people with darker skin tones may need more sunlight exposure than lighter skin tones to get enough vitamin D.
Eat Fatty Fish and Seafood. Seafood and fatty fish are among the highest natural food sources for vitamin D. Some of the kinds of fish and seafood containing high amounts of vitamin D are:
- Salmon (particularly wild-caught)
Consider adding some of the fish and seafood to your diet to help supplement your vitamin D levels.
- Include Mushrooms in Your Diet. Mushrooms are the only wholly plant-based source for vitamin D. Mushrooms produce vitamin D in the same way humans make vitamin D – by exposure to UV light. The amount of vitamin D will vary depending on the type of mushroom. For example, wild mushrooms tend to contain more vitamin D than commercially grown mushrooms because of the higher exposure to sunlight.
- Add Egg Yolks to Your Diet. Egg yolks contain a fair amount of vitamin D and are easy to add to your diet. Like other natural food sources, the content of vitamin D is variable depending on how the animals are raised. Some research indicates that free-range or pasture-raised chickens contain up to four times more vitamin D than conventionally raised chickens.
- Eat Fortified Foods. Because few foods contain a high amount of vitamin D, this nutrient is often added to foods through a process known as fortification. Some examples of commonly fortified foods are:
- Cow’s milk
- Soy, almond, and hemp milk
- Orange juice
- Some kinds of yogurt
- Take a Supplement. One of the most common ways to make sure you get enough vitamin D is to take a vitamin supplement. There are two primary biological forms for vitamin D: D2 and D3. D2 typically comes from plants, while meats, eggs, and other food originating from animals contain vitamin D3. Research from the NIH indicates that D3 is more effective at maintaining and raising your overall vitamin D levels.
The amount of vitamin D you need will depend on your current vitamin D levels. In most cases, 1,000 - 4,000 IU is considered a safe daily dosage. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider and get your levels tested to determine the correct dosage for you.
G and G Vitamins: Providing High-Quality Vitamins and Minerals Since 1965
At G&G Vitamins, health and wellbeing are at the forefront of what we do, and providing the purest, high-quality, affordable supplements is our priority. Established in 1965 in the United Kingdom, we are excited to bring our more than 140 products to the United States -- and we have many more unique and exciting formulations in the pipeline.
You want the very best vitamins and minerals, and we want to help you with that. That’s why much of our range is vegan and vegetarian certified and allergy-friendly where possible, including gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free options.