Known as the “sunshine vitamin”, you may think that you just need to go outside for a bit to get a dose of vitamin D, right?
Well, sort of...
Whether it’s from the sun, in your diet, or by using vitamin D supplements, we’ll help you understand how we get vitamin D and the different ways you can increase your vitamin D naturally.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and is required for many vital processes in the body. Vitamin D supports the health of our bones as it helps with calcium absorption.* Vitamin D is also required to help maintain a healthy immune system.*
Who Needs Vitamin D?
Vitamin D deficiency can affect many people across the globe – especially those who live in northern climates or areas that don’t get much natural sunlight. It is recommended that everyone takes vitamin D supplements during winter in the UK due to shorter daylight hours and a lack of natural sunlight.
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need?
The NHS recommends that both children and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day – this is equivalent to 400IU of vitamin D.
It is recommended that babies under the age of 1 should get 8.5-10 micrograms of vitamin D per day, which is between 340IU and 400IU of vitamin D.
For a more detailed list of how much vitamin D you should take based on your age, read this article:
To ensure that you’re getting enough vitamin D in your diet and lifestyle, here are seven ways to increase your vitamin D levels.
7 Ways to Increase Your Vitamin D Intake
1) Go Outside
The most obvious way to get vitamin D is to get out in the natural sunlight. But how much sun do you need?
While it’s not possible to overdose on vitamin D through sun exposure, it is recommended that you protect your skin with a high factor SPF and clothing to help reduce the risk of sun damage and skin cancer.
It's recommended that you get up to 15 minutes of sun exposure on your skin a few times per week to maintain good levels of vitamin D.
2) Eat Fortified Foods
When you do your next food shop, look out for foods that have been fortified with added vitamin D. This is a great way to get more vitamin D into your diet and boost your vitamin D levels from within. Foods fortified with vitamin D can include:
- Dairy products
- Plant-based milk
- Orange juice
- Whole grains
3) Eat More Seafood
One of the best food sources of vitamin D is found in seafood. Introduce more fatty fish into your diet, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, oysters, shrimp, and sardines, to boost your vitamin D levels naturally.
4) Take a Vitamin D Supplement
Vitamin D supplements are another easy way to increase your vitamin D intake, especially if your diet doesn’t include seafood or fortified foods. At Puritan’s Pride, we have a variety of vitamin D supplements available in a range of doses and types for easy consumption, including:
Browse the full range of vitamin D supplements below:
How much vitamin D you need will depend on your current levels, which you can find out via a blood test at your GP, and your age.
5) Eat Mushrooms
Vegetarians and vegans (and meat-eaters too!) will be happy to know that mushrooms are one of the best plant-based source of vitamin D.
Wild mushrooms tend to have higher amounts of vitamin D than commercially grown mushrooms as they are exposed to more natural sunlight. However, you should never eat a wild mushroom without formally identifying it first.
6) Invest in a UV Lamp
Another easy way to get vitamin D is to use a UV-B lamp. Imitating the action of the sun, these lamps are a great alternative way to boost vitamin D levels, especially during the winter months.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t rely on the lamp to get more vitamin D – instead, it should complement the other ways you are getting vitamin D.
Support your overall health and wellbeing by trying a combination of the above ways to increase vitamin D and talk with your doctor if you are unsure what vitamin D supplement is best for you.
If you’re wondering when the best time is to take supplements, find out everything you need to know in this article: