Naturally Healthy Ways to Get More Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that the body needs to stay healthy. It helps to keep our bones strong and helps to prevent maladies such as Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes. One of the best ways to get Vitamin D is from natural sunlight, which in the winter can be lacking. Many people living in cold weather climates do not feel it is worth going out in subzero temps just to avoid vitamin deficiency.
Luckily, there are other ways to get Vitamin D naturally. While only some foods are high in this important vitamin they still offer a yummy way to get your recommended daily value (600 IUs). Wild caught salmon is an excellent source of vitamin D, as well as other omega-3 fatty acids that offer a wide range of health benefits. Try baking your salmon with lemon or adding it to a fresh green salad for a tasty and healthy meal.
Mushrooms are another source of vitamin D, one of the only other foods where it naturally occurs that is not a protein. When exposed to UV lights, mushrooms become even higher in vitamin D. Packages of mushrooms at the grocery store will say if they have had the extra UV-B exposure, giving you confidence that you will be getting a lot of the sunshine vitamin. Several mushroom varieties are available, including delicious large portabellas or mini creminis. You can sauté them in light olive oil or add them to a thin-crust pizza to get that extra dose of vitamin D.
Milk also contains vitamin D, but dairy products can also be high in fat. In the United States, most of our yogurt, milk, and cheese has been fortified with this vitamin to help aid nutrition. However, these foods alone are not enough to get your daily recommended value. You are better off using dairy sparingly, as it can give some benefit but can also be unhealthy when over consumed.
Just in case you are not able or willing to get your vitamin D from sun or foods, there are always other options. Daily supplements are readily available and can give you a daily’s allowance in a single pop. If you are going to go with supplements, doctors recommend taking a 3,000 IU capsule every day. There is also an artificial vitamin D light approved by the FDA, which promises to replenish vitamin D levels with only 3 sessions per week. The sessions take 1-5 minutes and help to prevent vitamin D deficiency without having to take supplements. This convenient vitamin D light does not come cheap though; it costs over $400.