Summer is here and many of you are spending more time outside – whether on vacation or just on the weekends. It’s time to take a critical look at your body’s need or Vitamin D.

Studies show that Americans are generally low in this necessary vitamin– almost half (41percent) are insufficient, and 29 percent are deficient. So, it may take more than a few months of extra sunshine to boost those levels to the numbers your body needs.

Why does our body need more Vitamin D?  It’s necessary for calcium absorption, so low levels directly affect bone health. Research also suggests that low levels may be a risk factor for autoimmune diseases

There are three ways to get the levels your body needs – exposure to the sun, food, and supplements.

Sun and Vitamin D

For many years we’ve been told that when we’re out in the sun we must protect our skin from sun damage.  That is good advice in terms of preventing aging and damage to the skin, but not so much for increasing your D levels.  Your body needs full exposure to the sun to make the Vitamin D you need. So, wearing a hat and sunglasses coupled with liberally applied sunscreen means you are getting hardly any of the benefits of being in the sun..

Where you are enjoying your summertime also makes a difference. So does the time of day you are out in the sun. It’s easier to get Vitamin D production going in the middle of the day in a location that has strong sun rays. However, that’s not such a good idea in terms of possible sunburn. It’s a tricky balancing act. And since you can get Vitamin D is other ways, protecting yourself and your family from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays should be your priority.

Food and Vitamin D

Unfortunately, not many foods contain good levels of Vitamin D. This list can help boost your levels:

  1. Wild caught salmon
  2. Herring and sardines
  3. Cod liver oil
  4. Canned tuna
  5. Egg yolks
  6. Mushrooms

Vitamin D supplements

There are many supplements on the market.  Look for one that’s as natural as possible and preferably made from organic, whole food ingredients.  Or adjust your diet so that you’re eating more of the foods rich in Vitamin D or fortified with vitamin D.

Enjoy your summer months. Have fun in the sun and stay hydrated.  Top up your Vitamin D with these foods, so that your levels get a summer boost too.

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