One of the major natural sources of vitamin D is sunlight. And it doesn’t take a certified meteorologist to tell you that in the wintertime, that precious resource can sometimes be scarce. During those grey winter months, your levels of Vitamin D may drop. Lower levels of vitamin D can also be brought on by constant sunscreen use, for those geographically fortunate people who experience year-round sunshine. (But don’t put away that SPF 45, because protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is important!)
Why is vitamin D deficiency dangerous? For starters, this essential vitamin keeps your bones strong, promotes normal immune response and supports overall heart health. Low levels of vitamin D have recently been linked to poor mood and sadness.
Doctors have suggested that upwards of 60% of the nation’s population isn’t getting enough vitamin D. If you’re snowed in or slathering on sunscreen, how can you give your body the vitamin D it needs? It can be found in certain foods, such as mackerel and fortified milk, but even that may not be enough to counter a deficiency. A daily supplement, especially one that delivers a readily usable (often called “bioavailable”) form of vitamin D, can ensure that you get the recommended daily allowance and then some.
The sun may be in hiding for a few more months, but there are plenty of ways to get your vitamin D this winter.