Vitamin D: why you need it; 5 ways to get it

vitamin D
vitamin DIf you can’t get salmon or sardines in your diet, take a vitamin D supplement.

Like it or not, the slide into winter is under way for most of North America.

Aside from making for sometimes tricky driving conditions and the general unpleasantness of bone-chilling cold and jaw-dropping heating bills, the onset of winter may mean a new dietary concern: lack of vitamin D.

Why does vitamin D matter? Among other thing, it helps ensure strong bones and teeth and helps create normal functions of your immune system.

Most of the year, getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is actually pretty easy: just be outside. Sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D. Experts say as little as 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight on your arms and face twice a week ought to keep you well supplied with vitamin D.

But, in winter there is less sunlight for most of North America. And, it’s harder to be outside and often impossible to be out in the elements without being heavily dressed.

Here’s how to make sure you are getting the vitamin D you need:

    • Seize ever opportunity to get out in the sunlight
    • Eat plenty of oily fish such as salmon and sardines
    • Egg yolks are rich in vitamin D
    • Be sure your diet includes vitamin D-fortified foods like low-fat milk, cereal and orange juice
    • And, if all else fails, take a daily multivitamin; look for one with 400 IU of vitamin D.