Is winter beginning to wear on you? Your vitamin D levels may be a factor.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that is a critical component to our health. Vitamin D helps calcium absorption, which helps us maintain strong and healthy bones. Vitamin D also can help boost the immune system, bolster mental health and help maintain strong cardiovascular health.
According to the CDC, only about 2/3 of the US population is considered vitamin D sufficient. This means that a third of us are not getting enough vitamin D.
Our bodies can synthesize our own vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight. But what about the darker, colder winter months when many of us aren’t spending time outdoors?
Think you need more vitamin D? Here are three ways to boost your vitamin D intake to optimize your health and wellness, not only during winter but throughout the year.
Sources of Vitamin D
There are only a few foods that naturally contain vitamin D in the readily usable form for our bodies. These foods include mushrooms, fatty fish (including mackerel, herring, sardines, sockeye salmon, swordfish, and tuna), cod liver oil, egg yolks and Swiss cheese.
Many foods are also fortified with vitamin D, such as milk, certain cereals, and margarine. Remember that nutrition labels are a great place to look to see how much vitamin D is in your favorite foods.
Because vitamin D isn’t natural to many of our foods, supplements are very useful for boosting Vitamin D consumption. If you have any questions about the type, dosage or interaction of your supplements, contact your doctor.
Exposing the skin to sunlight is the way our bodies naturally produce vitamin D. Your body only needs exposure to the sun for a short time to produce the needed amount of vitamin D. While this is a great way for the body to produce vitamin D, remember to wear sunscreen and be careful about exposing the skin to UV rays.
If you have questions about the best ways to get enough vitamin D, the Mercy Health team is here to answer your questions. Reach out to our team today at mercy.com or by calling 513-952-5000 to learn more.