Now that we’ve turned the clocks back and there is less daily sunlight it may be time to consider a vitamin D supplement. Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike our skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. This fat-soluble vitamin helps our bodies absorb calcium, assists the modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and helps to reduce inflammation.
So what can we do as the days get shorter and cold weather limits our skins exposure to the sun? There are healthy food sources of vitamin D including fatty fish such as salmon (wild is best), tuna, mackerel, mushrooms, eggs and vitamin D fortified foods such as organic milk (non-dairy milks are also fortified). Including these in your daily diet may help keep your vitamin D levels within a healthy range year round.
Still, it’s recommended that we test our vitamin D levels at least once a year. If you aren’t getting enough from sun exposure and vitamin D rich foods your doctor may recommend a supplement. Choose one that’s naturally sourced whenever possible and always speak with your physician before beginning any supplement. The cold months are coming, unfortunately we can’t avoid it, but we can help our bodies maintain sufficient vitamin D levels all year round with some healthy food supplements.