If you’re a health-conscious person, you likely make sure you exercise and eat healthy (most of the time, at least). Vitamin deficiencies might not seem like the apparent health issue to consider, but vitamin D is one of the few nutrients most people lack, and it’s vital for health. Recently, a study showed almost three-quarters of Americans are deficient.
You might think of vitamin D as being just another vitamin, but it acts more like a hormone since our body produces it by combining other chemicals. Vitamin D is essential for the regulation and intake of calcium. A lack of Vitamin D can cause poor bone density and has been linked to depression, so it’s vital to keep this vitamin stocked up, and here’s how.
Vitamin D in Food
If you’re thinking of just downing some vitamin D rich foods, we have unwelcome news — there aren’t a lot of foods that contain Vitamin D. Some foods, like fatty fish such as salmon, herring, or sardines have a suitable amount. Studies have found that boiled, fried, and baked foods can lower the Vitamin D level in the food a lot. Some pleasant news — sushi rolls with salmon might be an excellent option to get your vitamin D without cooking. You can also mix in some sardines with your pasta next time; sardines added to a red sauce is a tasty, easy combination.
Drinks Fortified with Vitamin D
If you can’t eat your vitamin D, drink it; soy milk, orange juice, and milk are all commonly fortified with Vitamin D. Fortified foods means that vitamin D isn’t naturally a part of those drinks, but it’s added during the production process. Companies have been fortifying drinks and food with vitamins for nearly a century in America, so it’s an easy and reliable way to make sure your bones are happy.
It might seem like part of a futuristic novel, but laying under artificial light like a human plant might be a useful way to up your vitamin D. Some studies show you can get Vitamin D by exposure to artificial light from sunlamps but not at no risk, unfortunately. The same reason your dermatologist frowns on your tanning bed use applies here — increased UV light also comes with an increase in your risk of skin cancer. The solution? Stick to natural sunlight and keep in mind that too much natural sun can also be harmful (here’s where your super-powered SPF moisturizer comes into play). There are also small lamps you can use for limited exposure which reduce UV risk, like the Miroco Light Therapy Lamp.
Still concerned about your vitamin D levels? Take matters into your own hands, literally — there are several vitamin D supplements you can take. Just don’t go on a vitamin D bender; there is such thing as too much, and too much vitamin D can make you sick. Why? Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, not a water-soluble vitamin-like vitamin C. If you take too much vitamin C, your body just sheds it, but fat-soluble vitamins don’t work like that. If you take too much Vitamin D and the fat can’t store it, the vitamin enters the bloodstream, and that’s not a good look.