When We Think Of Vitamins...
But vitamin D is special.
It's difficult to get enough vitamin D. Vitamin D is, therefore, a very common deficiency. We're lucky at the moment, as one of the easiest ways to get vitamin D is through sun exposure! Since it's currently summer and is very sunny in many places around the world, this is not a particularly difficult task right now. However, once winter rolls around, or for people who live in less sunny climates, things get a little more complicated!
So, let's talk about how much of this critical, fat-soluble vitamin we need, and how we can get enough of it. Without a doubt, the three best ways to get vitamin D are exposure to the sun, consuming vitamin D containing food, and through supplements. Keep reading to find out more about this fascinating vitamin!
Why & How Much?
Not getting enough vitamin D can lead to bone diseases like osteomalacia. Inadequate vitamin D can also increase risk of heart disease, autoimmune diseases, certain cancers, and even death. The official minimum amount of vitamin D to strive for each day is merely 400-600 IU. However, many experts think that this is not nearly enough for optimal health.
To ensure we get adequate amounts of vitamin D, we can implement any combination of the three vitamin D sources mentioned below on a weekly basis.
How Can I Get Enough From The Sun?
One standard recommendation is to get about 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. to the face, arms, legs, or back. This should be done without sunscreen, at least twice a week. Of course, we should always avoid sunburns and of course, in some locations and seasons of the year, it's not easy to get sun exposure. So, how can we get enough vitamin D in other ways?
How Can I Get Enough From Food?
Some foods are fortified, which means vitamin D has been added to them. These foods include milk, some orange juices, breakfast cereals, and yogurt. It will say on the label how much vitamin D has been added per serving.
Because vitamin D is fat-soluble, we can increase absorption of it from our food if we eat it with some healthy fats. Between sun exposure and food, it still may be difficult to get even the minimum of 400 IU of vitamin D each day. This is why vitamin D supplements are quite popular.
How Can I Get Enough From Supplements?
Before we take vitamin D containing supplements, however, we should make sure we check that they won't interact with other supplements or medications we may be taking. We should always read our labels, and ask healthcare professionals for advice.
We should also not take more than the suggested dosage on the label of any vitamin D supplement, except under medical care.
The maximum amount recommended for the general population is 4,000 IU/day. Too much vitamin D can raise the levels of calcium in our blood unsafely, and this can affect our hearts and kidneys.
If concerned, the best thing is to ask healthcare professionals to do a blood test and make a recommendation about how much vitamin in supplement form is right for you. Healthcare practitioners may recommend higher amounts of vitamin D supplementation for a short time while under their care.
If concerned, it's best to request a blood test that tests vitamin D levels to be sure what's right. Always take supplements as directed.
Why not start today by checking out the vitamin D rich recipe below?
Recipe: Super Simple Grilled Salmon
- 4 wild salmon fillets
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 black pepper
- 1/4 tsp dried parsley
- 1/4 tsp. dried dill
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat the oven broiler and raise the oven rack. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and place fish on top, skin-side down. Surround with a single layer of asparagus.
- Sprinkle the fish and asparagus with sea salt, pepper, parsley, and dill. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Broil for 8-10 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork.
- Serve & enjoy!
Pro Tip: Serve with a side of rice or quinoa.
"I haven't measured or weighed myself in weeks and when I stood on the scale last night I was down 2 pounds just by trying to do my best. And I feel amazing."
-Simple Swaps Member Melissa
Fulfilling Your Vitamin D Quota
If you want to start being more mindful about getting enough vitamin D in your diet, I would love to chat with you about different options you can try to do just that! If there's anything else you would like to chat about regarding your diet, we can cover that too.
I'd love for you to book a free health coaching call. I want to find out what you are struggling with and give you my best tips to start you on a journey toward a lean and healthy body for life.
My clients often tell me after their first week in the Simple Swaps program, their cravings for sweets settle down and they are able to make better food choices naturally. They love the new freedom they find with regards to food!
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