More than three fourths of all Americans are Vitamin D-deficient. Are you one?
It’s Saturday! What plans do you have? Many will escape the quarantine of being indoors to stepping outside into the sunshine, hiking, swimming, gardening, biking or just picnicking. We all need a little glow, but did you know that sun-kissed look can also do your body a world of good?
My motto is always “I need some Vitamin Sea”. But did you know its Vitamin D that most of us are low on causing fatigue, immune deficiencies and illness. We need Vitamin D to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Emerging research suggests that Vitamin D may help prevent a variety of illnesses, such as depression, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. While there is no set guideline, dosage recommendations range from 600-2,000 IU per day—everyone is different to reach and maintain healthy blood levels.
Here are some tips to increase your Vitamin D:
1. Spend time in the sunlight: Vitamin D is often referred to as “the sunshine vitamin” because the sun is one of the best sources of this nutrient. Your skin hosts a type of cholesterol that functions as a precursor to Vitamin D. When this compound is exposed to UV-B from the sun, it becomes Vitamin D. In fact, sun-derived Vitamin D may circulate for twice as long as Vitamin D from food or supplements.
2. Skin tone and age: People with darker skin need to spend more time in the sun to produce Vitamin D than those with lighter skin. That’s because darker skin has more melanin, a compound that can inhibit Vitamin D production. Age can have an impact as well. As you get older, Vitamin D production in your skin becomes less efficient.
3. Sunscreen and clothing: Certain types of clothing and sunscreen can hinder – if not completely block Vitamin D production. While its vital to protect yourself from skin cancer by avoiding overexposure to sunlight, it takes very little unprotected sun exposure for your body to start producing Vitamin D. Sources suggest that as few as 8-15 minutes of exposure is enough to make plenty of Vitamin D for lighter-skinned individuals. Those with darker skin may need a little more time.
4. Consume more fish and seafood: Fatty fish and seafood are among the richest natural food sources of Vitamin D. Fish and seafood rich in Vitamin D include salmon, tuna, mackerel, oysters, shrimp, sardines, anchovies. Many of these foods are also rich in heart-healthy omega 3 acids. If you’re vegan like me see fortified foods below.
5. Eat more mushrooms: Mushrooms are the only completely plant-based source of Vitamin D. Much like humans, mushrooms product Vitamin D when exposed to UV light. Wild mushrooms have the greatest Vitamin D levels.
6. Eat fortified foods: Some commonly fortified goods include: plant-based milk, orange juice, certain types of yogurt, tofu and ready-to-eat-cereals.
7. Take a supplement: For many people taking a Vitamin D supplement may be the best way to ensure you’re getting what you need. Be sure to purchase high quality Vitamin D that has been third party tested to ensure purity and quality.
The bottom line is Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that most of us don’t get enough of. Having your Vitamin D levels checked before supplementing is the best way to pick the appropriate addition into your diet.
With that being said, #sunsout, so put on the right sunscreen and soak some goodness in! Your mind and body will thank you for it!
DM me for my everyday dermatologic necessities for healthy-looking skin, from face & body sunscreen, active hydration for the body to my maximum Vitamin D supplements.