Wellness Wednesday: Sunshine & Vitamin D

Soak up some vitamin D

It's been a long winter, but now sunny(er) days are upon us and it's time to soak up some sunshine and get some much needed Vitamin D. Our bodies produces vitamin D naturally through direct exposure to sunlight... something you may not have had a lot of lately!

In the winter it's hard to get direct exposure to sunlight mostly because we're usually bundled up or we go to work before the sun is up and get out as the sun sets. Despite how depressing that is, it also limits our vitamin D intake. 

But hey, those days are behind us now! It's now time to think about getting our vitamin D levels up. Direct sunlight is all you need to get vitamin D, but a little goes a long way. Just 10 minutes a day of mid-day sun exposure is plenty, especially if you’re fair-skinned.

Why is vitamin D important?

There are lots of awesome and vital things that happen in our bodies when we get plenty of vitamin D. According to Health Line, Vitamin D has several important functions:

  • It regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous
  • It facilitates normal immune system function
  • Supports normal growth and development of bones and teeth
  • Improves resistance against certain diseases

If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, you’re at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as osteomalacia (soft bones) or osteoporosis (fragile bones)

Other sources of vitamin D

During the not-so-sunny months it's important to meet your vitamin D needs through food and supplements. Not many food naturally contain vitamin D, but some foods are fortified with it, meaning that it is added to the food. Here are foods that contain the vitamin:

  • salmon
  • sardines
  • egg yolk
  • shrimp
  • milk (fortified)
  • cereal (fortified)
  • yogurt (fortified)
  • orange juice (fortified) 

It can be hard to get enough vitamin D each day through sun exposure and food alone, so taking vitamin D supplements can help. And it's easy to pick up a vitamin D supplement at your nearest drug store! 

Be well,

Lauren R.