Vitamin D, aka the sunshine vitamin, is one of the easiest vitamins to get—simply spending some time in the sun is usually enough to ensure we’re getting the vitamin D we need. And yet it is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies worldwide, with around 40% of people not getting the recommended amount (about 600–800 IUD).
We may be surrounded by vitamin D sources, but we don’t always have a lot of control over how much we’re actually taking in. We often talk about needing to raise our vitamin D levels during the winter months, but with work schedules and midday heat, many of us aren’t getting enough vitamin D in the summer, either. Other factors like lifestyle, diet, and where you live can also affect how much vitamin D you’re getting.
Why we need vitamin D
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium so it can build and maintain healthy bones. It also helps regulate many other functions in the body, including the intestines, immune system, cardiovascular system, muscles, and brain. Vitamin D is vital to our health in many ways, which is why people of all ages need to stay on top of it.
Free sunshine for all
The sun should be our go-to for vitamin D. After all, all you have to do is spend five to 30 minutes outside and let your skin absorb the UVB rays. Pretty easy, right?
To an extent, yes. But you’ll need to keep sun protection in mind, too. Sunscreen blocks vitamin D absorption, so if you’re really good about applying sunscreen every day, you likely won’t be getting the vitamin D you need. This doesn’t mean you should throw out your SPF protection, though. You’ll just need to be a little more strategic about getting a safe amount of unprotected sun exposure.
The best time of day to get those vitamin D–loving rays is from 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Stepping outside a few times a week to let your arms, legs, back, or face drink in the sunlight for 10 minutes or so should give you the vitamin D you need without risking sun damage.
That being said, it’s best not to rely solely on the sun for your vitamin D needs. A cloudy or rainy day can block the vitamin D you had planned on. If you work indoors during the day, it can be tricky to get outside, even for a few minutes. The time of year can have a big effect on how much vitamin D you’re getting—and it’s not just during the dark, long winters that people miss out on the sunshine vitamin. While midday is the ideal time to be outside during the cooler months, during the summer people purposefully retreat indoors during the day, missing out on those optimal vitamin D hours—and the crucial benefits that vitamin D provides.
Simply put, the sun can be a fickle friend. Fortunately, there are two other effective ways you can boost your vitamin D levels, regardless of weather and climate.
Foods with vitamin D
Foods rich in vitamin D include:
Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna
Fortified dairy products
If you’re a fan of cereal in the mornings, rejoice—you’re getting a good amount of vitamin D from your diet. If you’re on a vegan or non-dairy diet, though, your vitamin D food sources are much more limited. Which brings us to our third source of vitamin D.
Vitamin D supplements
By taking a vitamin D supplement, you won’t have to plan your vitamin D consumption around the sun. It fills any gaps you have in your diet, too. And, in the case of Unicity’s Bone Fortify, it makes for a legitimately tasty beverage, especially on a hot day.
With its unique blend of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium, Bone Fortify is a delicious powdered drink mix specially formulated to support the body’s natural processes responsible for overall bone health. Whatever your reasons for needing to raise your vitamin D levels, Bone Fortify is an easy way to ensure you’re getting the amount you need each day.
Vitamin D for every lifestyle
The great thing about vitamin D is that there’s a simple way to get it, no matter what your lifestyle is like. If you spend most of your days indoors, you can get what you need through diet and a supplement like Bone Fortify. If you spend a lot of time outdoors year-round, you won’t need to monitor your diet and supplements for vitamin D as closely. If you can get it from all three sources, all the better.
The important thing is to be mindful about your vitamin D consumption. We all need strong, healthy bones to help us to keep doing the things we love, so make sure you’re getting the vitamin D you need each day.