How to get your vitamin D—with and without sun
Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins that the body needs, it primarily helps with the absorption of calcium. The body can get vitamin D through the sun, from food and through supplements.
Your skin produces vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight. Sun exposure is the most natural and ideal way to boost vitamin D. Living in the Midwest can make it more difficult to receive vitamin D through sun exposure. On the other hand, too much exposure to the sun can be harmful to the skin. Consult with your doctor for more specific information on direct sunlight as a form of vitamin D.
Foods that contain vitamin D include:
- Shiitake and button mushrooms (leave mushrooms in the sun to elevate their vitamin D levels)
- Mackerel, sockeye salmon, cod liver oil, sardines and
Most people do not consume enough vitamin D to meet the recommended amounts. More than half of the population is deficient in vitamin D.
If you choose to supplement, opt for vitamin D3, which is identical to what we create in our skin. The amount of vitamin D required to replenish deficiencies depends upon your lab tests, so you'll want to check with your provider for individual recommendations on how to keep your levels in check.