Making Sure You Get Enough Vitamin D in Winter

Spending a bit of time outdoors often gets you a good dose of Vitamin D. Then came the enforced lockdowns and wintertime that made it a struggle to see to it that you get the sun exposure you need. A lack of vitamin D makes your bones and muscles weak, so it’s important to know how to get your regular dosage.

Our habits and the weather hamper UVB exposure that helps synthesize vitamin D in the body. People with darker skin, in particular, have a harder time getting their needed vitamin D because they need around two to three times more sun exposure than those with lighter skin.

Why Is Vitamin D So Important?

Vitamin D is a nutrient that assists in the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which promote bone growth and strength. Having strong bones prevents diseases such as osteoporosis, which makes a person especially susceptible to bone fractures. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, vitamin D is also known to protect muscles.

This is especially important in the U.S. setting because there are more vitamin-D deficient Americans than you may think. Approximately 41% of Americans have vitamin D deficiency, which means the cold months will be affecting the health of almost half of the U.S. population.

How to Get a Good Amount of Vitamin D

The wintertime has made it more challenging to get the proper amount of vitamin D daily. Here are several ways that you can ensure your body gets its healthy fix every day.

1. Bring the sunlight inside.

The cold dead winter season reduces the amount of sunlight you can comfortably get in a day. This is due to limited time spent outside and the layers of clothing needed to fight the cold. Studies have shown that vitamin D levels reach their lowest around the end of February and early March.

Since it’s unwise to step out into the sun without covering up in the winter, the easiest way you can have sun exposure is by allowing your windows to let the sun in. You may need to install window treatments that allow the sun to pass through the glass while still giving you some privacy. Also, don’t forget to wear sunscreen even when indoors!

2. Take supplements.

If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D daily, supplements can help introduce your body’s appropriate amount. Vitamin D3 supplements are readily available over the counter, while vitamin D2 often requires a prescription and is used as a treatment.

It is important to note that the proper amount of vitamin D is important to have daily, but it is harmful to get too much. Excessive vitamin D can cause nausea, vomiting, and even constipation. Always consult your doctor first to get an accurate gauge if your body requires supplements or not.

3. Choose the food you eat.

Although one shouldn’t rely solely on food to get their daily intake of vitamin D, certain foods are rich in vitamin D. A popular source of it in food is fish, such as salmon and sardines. Note that wild salmon has more vitamin D than farmed salmon, although it still provides a good amount.

Egg yolks are also high in vitamin D. You can check if the available eggs in the store were made through vitamin D-enhanced chicken feeds. Another great source is mushrooms, which have a curious capability of increasing vitamin D2 levels from exposure to sunlight.

You can also do a quick browse of the grocery aisles and pick up items that have been enriched with vitamin D. These can range from cereals to milk and yogurt.

4. Use the right skincare.

Sunlight and oral intake are not the only ways to get vitamin D. Skincare products have also been infusing vitamin D to make the skin healthier. There are many serums, oils, and creams that make use of vitamin D for anti-aging purposes.

Vitamin D also helps soothe the skin and protect it from damage. It also hydrates the skin and helps give it a healthy glow.

woman laying on the snow making snow angel

For a Healthier You

Recent studies have found a correlation between increased risk of COVID-19 and vitamin D deficiency. Further studies support this, showing that 80% of COVID-19 patients were deficient in vitamin D. This shows that vitamin D isn’t only good for your daily health, it also keeps you away from severe illnesses.

By being conscious of the amount of vitamin D your body gets, especially in the winter months, you keep your body strong for years to come.

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