How To Keep Your Vitamin D Levels Up This Winter
Many people struggle to get enough vitamin D, but the winter months can make it that much harder. Studies estimate that as much as 40 percent of Americans are vitamin D deficient all year round. During the winter months researchers suggest that people should boost their vitamin D intake by as much as 500 percent to make up for the shorter days and lessened amount of sunshine. Since diet alone doesn’t provide enough vitamin D, our bodies absorb the vitamin in one of two ways:
- Exposing our bare skin to ultraviolet B rays
- Taking vitamin D supplements
When your skin is exposed to sunlight, your body quickly creates vitamin D3. The time this takes to happen varies based upon how fair one’s skin is, but it could be as fast as fifteen minutes for those with very light skin. Many factors contribute to the amount of sunlight one may need to produce a healthy amount of vitamin D, these include:
- The time of day you’re exposed to the sun – your body produces the most vitamin D during midday.
- Where you live in relation to the equator – those who live closer to the equator are more exposed to vitamin D throughout the year.
- The color of your skin – paler skin colors tend to produce vitamin D more easily than darker skin colors.
- The amount of skin exposed to the sun – the more skin that you expose to the sun, the more vitamin D your body will produce.
Low levels of vitamin D are linked to muscle and bone loss, an increased risk of type II diabetes, and seasonal affective disorder. Other symptoms include fatigue, aches and pains, and frequent infections. To ensure that you’re getting a healthy amount of vitamin D this winter, here are four simple things to keep in mind:
- Eat Healthy: Although the majority of our vitamin D comes from sun exposure, a healthy and balanced diet can also help to keep levels up. Foods such as mushrooms, pork, and fatty fish contain naturally high levels of vitamin D. Many other foods, such as dairy and eggs, are also fortified with vitamin D. Eating these fortified foods can help to protect against the wintertime blues.
- Get Outside: Although the cooler temperatures keep many of us from getting outside during the wintertime, it’s important to try and get a few minutes of sunshine. Taking a walk during your lunch break or sitting outside for a few minutes a day can make a meaningful difference in vitamin D levels. For those living in northern climates, the winter is a great time of year to take that dream vacation to somewhere warm. A sunny destination will give your body the vitamin D boost it needs.
- Consider Artificial Light: If getting a healthy amount of vitamin D is out of the question for you, fortifying your vitamin D levels with artificial light can be helpful. Light therapy boxes have been known to protect from seasonal affective disorder.
- Take a Vitamin Supplement: If sunshine and diet isn’t enough to get a healthy amount of vitamin D this winter, taking a supplement can be your solution. Your doctor can help to recommend a healthy dosage to help your levels reach the healthy range. For most people vitamin D is easily absorbed in the body, so it’s not critical to take it at a specific time of the day or with certain meals.
Relevant: 12 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
Your doctor can test your blood to determine if you have healthy levels of vitamin D. It is possible to have too much vitamin D in your body, and although rare, it’s important to keep in mind when adding a supplement to your diet. Vitamin D toxicity usually occurs when someone takes over 40,000 IU per day for a couple months or longer. Since vitamin D is fat soluable, it’s difficult to get out of your body if you take too much.
If you’re concerned about your vitamin D levels this winter, there are several options to help maintain healthy levels during these chilly months. Vitamin D supplementation is a great option for those who struggle to get enough vitamin D from sun exposure and diet alone. As your Melbourne vitamin manufacturers, we can help you create the perfect supplement for your business.