Winter is fast approaching here in the northern hemisphere, and that means the daylight hours are slowly diminishing and the sun’s rays are waning. In addition to colder temperatures and shorter days, the changing season also brings about an important question – about vitamin D.
Here’s a handy guide to help you find out:
- Depending on your skin tone (and where you live), you need approximately 5-30 minutes of sun exposure on your face, arms, legs or back to obtain adequate amounts of vitamin D. That means no sunscreen, sleeves or any other article of clothing blocking absorption.
- Consider your location – UV-B rays are weaker during the winter months, and in some parts of the country (north of Boston in the east and California in the west), they might not be strong enough to offer any vitamin D related benefits.
- Cloudy weather, smog and even window panes can interfere with your skin’s absorption of sunlight and ability to synthesize vitamin D.
- Vitamin D is only found in a small number of foods (mostly fortified items), such as salmon, milk and cereal.
If you’re not getting enough from sunlight or diet, check out the huge selection of vitamin D supplements available at Vitacost.com – including formulas with vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), the same form your body makes after being exposed to sunlight.