It’s That Time of Year: Get Your Vitamin D

Article posted in: Lifestyle

We set the clocks back last week, and while it’s nice to not get out of bed before sunrise, leaving work in the dark sure makes it feel like winter’s coming on. There’s a lot more to winter than just darker evenings, though. Winter, especially in the United States, tends to mean we all get less Vitamin D, an essential element. Why’s that? Direct sunlight is the only natural way to get Vitamin D, which we need in order to absorb calcium, iron and other essential nutrients. Shorter, cloudier days mean we’re less likely to get the exposure to the sun that we all need, not just to feel bright and cheery, but in order to make sure we’re getting the most out of our dietary calcium and iron. So what’s a body to do? Here are some simple steps to take to make sure you don’t develop a Vitamin D deficiency this winter:

Get Outside. The sun may be weak at higher latitudes, and you may not want to expose your skin, but 20-25 minutes a day of sun on some part of your skin can provide enough Vitamin D to keep you going. You have to go out doors, though: sunlight through a window or from artificial sources doesn’t work. Florida, here we come!

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Eat Fatty Fish. Fish like salmon, trout and tuna are good sources of Vitamin D. A three-ounce portion of wild salmon has about two-thirds of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of the nutrient.

Drink Your Milk. Almost all forms of milk sold in the United States are fortified with Vitamin D. (Other dairy products may not be, so check the labels.) Be sure to look for skim or low-fat varieties of milk.

Egg Yolks. Eggs don’t have a ton of Vitamin D, but a single yolk has about 10 percent of the RDA.