An estimated one billion people around the world have a vitamin D deficiency. During the cold winter months, there is reduced exposure to sunlight as people spend more time indoors. This presents a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency as well as the associated health problems. Luckily, there are several ways to ensure your vitamin D levels remain within the healthy range even when the sun is not shining.
Taking measures to ensure I am getting enough, Vitamin D is always atop of mind for me, especially during the winter months. Living in Wisconsin, long winters with limited sunlight are no stranger to me. Ugh. By the time February rolls around, most Wisconsinites are more than ready for some sunlight and above-freezing weather.
According to the NIH, The recommended daily value (DV) is 800 IU (20 mcg) of vitamin D per day from foods. The National Center Biotechnology Information states that if you don’t get enough sunlight, your intake should likely be closer to 1,000 IU (25 mcg) per day.
Vitamin D is vital for a healthy immune system and can help to ward off respiratory infections. The nutrient also promotes healthy bones, reduces depression, and boosts weight loss. In addition to bundling up for the cold season, consider speaking to a healthcare provider to learn more about getting vitamin D in the winter.
In an interview with JOOV, Dr. Ara Suppiah, personal physician to many of the world’s best professional golfers, an ER doctor who’s the Chief Wellness Officer of Florida Emergency Physicians, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Central Florida Medical College says,
If there is one blood test that you absolutely have to get done for overall health and performance (yes, I know there are a lot), it would be Vitamin D. It controls about 3,000 processes in the human body ranging from fat burning to immunity to sleep. You can’t afford to be low! And genetic testing will tell how well you make vitamin D from your skin’s exposure to UVB light. Some people just can’t make enough of it through natural light exposure.
4 Ways to Get Vitamin D in the Winter
1) Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin D
Sunshine is not only the best source of this important vitamin but also the easiest and cheapest way to get it. However, if you are wondering how to get vitamin D in the winter, your answer may be foods naturally rich in the nutrient.
Some foods you may want to include in your diet are fatty or oily fish, egg yolk, cod liver oil, spinach, mushrooms, pork chops, and soybeans. This article discusses the exact values of Vitamin D in specific foods.
2) Eat Foods Fortified With Vitamin D
You can also consider eating foods fortified with vitamin D to maintain healthy levels of the nutrient. When it comes to fortified foods, you will find both plant-based and animal products.
The options available include soy milk, certain types of yogurt, cow’s milk, orange juice, and certain breakfast cereals. Before buying any of these foods, look at the ingredients list to confirm whether it has been fortified with vitamin D.
3) Consider Taking Vitamin D Supplements
There are certain groups of people that can benefit a lot from taking vitamin D supplements. These include young children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with darker skin, strict vegans, those who remain covered up when outdoors, housebound people, and those looking to give their immune system a boost.
If you do not have enough vitamin D, a daily supplement can make for a great way to ensure adequate intake. However, you should ensure you purchase high-quality supplements and take them in the right quantities to achieve the desired results. Bronson Vitamin D3 10,000 IU: 360 Tablets is on Amazon for under $20.00, gives you 1250% of your recommended daily value
4) Exercise Daily
Studies show that regular physical exercise can assist with vitamin D. When you are stuck inside during winter, consider creating an indoor workout program to ensure you keep your vitamin D levels up. This will also help you to remain active.