Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin

sunlight

sunlight

Vitamin D is vital to optimal health and well-being.  It is being talked about more and more in the media and among nutrition experts, and for very good reason.

This incredibly important nutrient is essential for health. Recent research suggests that it may have benefits such as improving immune function, preventing disease, reducing inflammation, boosting mood, building bones, and even easing muscle aches. But, it can be hard for many of us to get enough of it during certain times of the year.

Here’s why: our bodies make Vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight. The sun is actually our greatest source of vitamin D.  During the winter months when it’s cold outside, we may not get the levels of Vitamin D from the sun that we need for our bodies to function optimally.

Here are a few ways to get more Vitamin D:

1. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like wild caught salmon, mackerel, cod, sardines and tuna are packed with Vitamin D. Buy these fish fresh or frozen, and of course wild caught, or pick up some that are packed in a can.

2. Whole Eggs

Eggs are a great source of Vitamin D, but it’s important to note that the Vitamin D in eggs comes from the yolk.  There are other nutrients that are only found in the yolk of the egg, so I recommend eating the whole egg (and look for organic, pasture-raised eggs).

3. Shiitake Mushrooms

Some mushroom species, including shiitake mushrooms, are a great source of Vitamin D. Buy them fresh when you can, but dried shiitakes are available in most stores as well and are great to toss into soups, or added to grain dishes, meat dishes or other veggie dishes. They’re incredibly flavorful and a little goes a long way!

4. Vitamin D Supplement

Our bodies were made to create all the vitamin D we need simply by absorbing sunlight. The problem is that modern life, use of sunscreen and the wintery weather can keep us from getting out in the sun as often as we should.

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. You may need to take a higher dose for a short period of time to get your levels up to a healthy range. 

You can order my favorite supplement here:  VITAMIN D3