How to Avoid a Vitamin D Deficiency during the Winter
As children, we were always told to finish our milk because that’s what would help us build strong bones. And the reason is that it contains both calcium and Vitamin D1 – two essential ingredients linked to healthy bones. However, the unfortunate part is Vitamin D isn’t naturally occurring in many foods.
One of the most natural ways to get enough Vitamin D is to expose bare skin to sunlight. When skin gets exposed to the sun, it triggers the synthesizing of Vitamin D from cholesterol. It also doesn’t take much sun to cause the synthesis to occur.
While getting enough sun during summer months is completely possible, getting it during the winter months – especially in northern climates – is a totally different story. When the mercury drops, often times, so do the Vitamin D levels2.
A Vitamin D deficiency can actually be more serious than we might initially think. In fact, recent research has shown that it can negatively impact our health as we age. Depending on the seriousness of Vitamin D deficiency, the lack can lead to various health problems:
- Early-stage deficiency: Early signs of a Vitamin D deficiency are muscle pain, problems walking, unexplained fatigue, and overall weakness.
- Advanced deficiency: More advanced deficiencies can cause deep bone pain and fractures. Low Vitamin D levels have also been linked to higher rates of heart and vascular disease, as well as prostate, breast, and colon cancers3.
While a Vitamin D deficiency can have serious consequences, avoiding it is pretty easy with these steps to follow:
- Smarter food choices: Foods that contain Vitamin D aren’t the most plentiful. But, there still are some options to try, such as canned salmon, milk, tuna, or mushrooms. There are also foods enriched with Vitamin D, such as soy, yogurt, cereal, orange juice, and eggs.
- Sun exposure: Getting sun exposure, even if limited, can help. Double-check with your doctor about how much sunlight is safe. A common recommendation is about 20 minutes a few times a week. During winter, do it in smaller amounts to avoid staying out in the cold for too long.
Vitamin D supplements: While it would be nice to get your daily intake of Vitamin D from fruits and vegetables, it can be difficult. That's why we recommend taking the NATURELO Vitamin D supplement made from lichens.
You can learn more about the difference between Vitamin D and D3 here.
So, this winter even with limited sun, you can still get your recommended Vitamin D with a few easy steps.