With more people concerned about immune function, it’s important to remember vital nutrients that keep the body healthy and strong. Vitamin D, also referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” regulates our ability to absorb calcium to keep our bones firm and impacts our nervous system, digestion, immune function and much more. Many of us spend lots of our time inside, meaning that a portion of the population is Vitamin D deficient. Since we need between 10-20 milligrams a day for optimal functioning, it’s important to know where to get your Vitamin D from.
Obviously, spending time in the sun is one of the most effective ways to increase your Vitamin D stores. Getting at least 15 minutes of sunlight a day can help regulate your circadian rhythms, which handle your hormones, digestion, cell repair and much more. Try getting outside in the morning when the sun’s red light is at its peak for optimal absorption.
Buy a UV Light
If sunlight is an issue where you live, you can purchase a UV light or, as some call it, a “happy light”. As Vitamin D is known to help improve our mood, having more light, even if it’s artificial, can help the body get the vital nutrients it needs to keep your bones strong and your mind at peace.
Eat More Mushrooms
Mushrooms are among the only naturally occurring sources of Vitamin D. Mushrooms contain Vitamin D2 and, while health professionals prefer D3, D2 will still help increase your body’s stores of Vitamin D. By aiding in your nervous system, bone and endocrine regulation, the Vitamin D2 in your mushrooms can make a difference in your system.
Take a Supplement
Very few foods naturally contain Vitamin D, which is why upping your intake with a supplement can help offset deficiency within the body. Look for a D3 supplement, which comes from animals but is the most effective and bioavailable form of Vitamin D for humans. But, be wary of which supplement you try. With little regulation of these types of vitamins in the United States, many can be low quality. Look for supplements that are tested by third parties for quality and transparency.
Eat More Seafood
Fatty fish such as mackerel, tuna and salmon all contain Vitamin D as well as omega-3s. Shrimp, sardines and oysters contain this mineral as well. Make sure to check for quality, as different environments produce different qualities of fish.
If you’re low on Vitamin D, get more sunlight, implement more Vitamin-D rich foods into your diet and consult your doctor to create a plan to get more of this nutrient in your life.