Meeting your vitamin D needs in the wintertime
Did you know about 42% Americans are vitamin D deficient?
Vitamin D plays an important role in cardiovascular and bone health. It aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. And, it helps deliver these nutrients to your bones and teeth. Vitamin D also plays a role in muscle strength, regulating cell growth and maintaining a healthy immune system.
Sunlight is the best way to get enough vitamin D. In the wintertime, when you’re heavily clothed or have limited access to sunlight, you may not be getting enough vitamin D to meet nutritional needs through sunlight alone. Therefore, you may need supplements or increased food sources for vitamin D.
Since vitamin D is naturally present in few foods, your best choices are:
- Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel
- Fish liver oils
- Mushrooms, a natural plant-based source of vitamin D
For a tasty boost of vitamin D, try these recipes:
Fortified foods, such dairy or soy products, contain lower amounts of vitamin D.
If you have concerns about your vitamin D levels—or are experiencing fatigue or muscle pain—talk to your primary care provider.