As we are coming to the end of the summer months, you need to make the most of the daylight to continue to get your sunshine fix for as long as possible.
Vitamin D is the only nutrient your body produces when exposed to sunlight, but up to 50% of the world’s population may not get enough sun, and 40% are seriously deficient. This is partly because people spend more time indoors, wear sunblock outside, and eat a Western diet low in good sources of this vitamin.
One of vitamin D’s most important roles is keeping your immune system strong so you’re able to fight off viruses and bacteria that cause illness. It directly interacts with the cells that are responsible for fighting infection, so if you often become sick, especially with colds or the flu, low vitamin D levels may be a contributing factor. Several large observational studies have shown a link between a deficiency and respiratory tract infections like colds, bronchitis and pneumonia. A number of studies have found that taking vitamin D supplements at a dosage of up to 4,000 IU daily may reduce your risk of respiratory tract infections. In one study with people with the chronic lung disorder COPD, only those who were severely deficient in vitamin D experienced a significant benefit after taking a high-dose supplement for one year.
Apart from taking a supplement and spending plenty of time outdoors, you could try including these foods into your diet as well:
This fatty fish is a great source of vitamin D. On average, wild-caught salmon packs 988 IU of vitamin D per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, or 124% of the DV.
Herring and Sardines
These small fish are one of the best sources of vitamin D. Other types of fish are also good, such as Halibut and mackerel, and they can be included with any delicious salad and sweet potato combo, or cooked in the oven with roasted vegetables. It doesn’t get more delicious than that!
They are the best plant source of vitamin D. Like humans, mushrooms can synthesize this vitamin when exposed to UV light. Mushrooms produce vitamin D2, whereas animals produce vitamin D3, but wild mushrooms are excellent sources of vitamin D2. In fact, some varieties pack up to 2,300 IU per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving — nearly three times the DV.
Ultimately living with a vitamin D deficiency can leave you feeling tired and exhausted…but it is easy to fix. Get yourself tested if you suspect a deficiency so that you can live your best life…always!