What’s the first thing you think of when you hear Vitamin D? Probably sunshine, right?? If so, you are on the money! Our bodies produce Vitamin D as a reaction to sun exposure, but it is not actually a vitamin – it’s a precursor of a hormone. Regardless of the misnomer, this wonderful nutrient is a MUST in your daily routine because it:
- Helps maintain healthy bones and teeth
- Supports immune system and brain health
- Regulates serotonin pathways in the brain and gut (aka it helps with a good mood!)
- Regulates insulin levels
- Promotes hormone balance and endocrine health (aids in preventing diabetes!)
- May be associated with cancer prevention
Sign me up!! As mentioned above, one way to get your body to produce Vitamin D is to get some sun. Even exposing your skin to 10 minutes of sunshine a day will help to raise Vitamin D levels, but try to aim for early morning or setting sun light to minimize the risk of sun damage (most common with mid-day sun). If you are reading this during a rain storm or you don’t live in a particularly sunny place, have no fear – there are multiple ways to get Vitamin D!
Vitamin D is attainable through diet as well as supplementation. Below are some foods that naturally contain Vitamin D:
- Fatty fish (like trout, salmon, mackerel, and tuna)
- Egg yolks
- Beef Liver
- Some cheeses
In addition to sunlight and diet, you can also take a Vitamin D supplement. General consensus is that adults should be getting 600 IU of Vitamin D a day to avoid deficiency, however some health practitioners advocate for more in the winter when sun exposure is minimal. Talk to your doctor to figure out trusted brands and dosage but be sure to get adequate amounts of magical Vitamin D into your day!