Vitamin D is widely known as the “Sunshine Vitamin” but did you know that it is actually vital for our overall immune function? Most Americans are deficient in this super vitamin because of time spent indoors; it’s also pretty difficult to get sufficient amounts of Vitamin D through diet alone. According to the Thyroid Pharmacist, “Vitamin D is one of the most under-recognized deficiencies in our society, and an estimated 85 percent of Americans may be deficient in it.”
It’s safe to say that we should all be getting more Vitamin D into our lives. But how? As someone that has a thyroid condition (Hashimoto’s) and knows her vitamin D levels need some work, I have compiled some tips and tricks for you on how to incorporate this immune-boosting vitamin into your daily routine.
Vitamin D Tips and Tricks
- Supplements: Knowing that diet alone cannot support optimal levels of vitamin D, supplementing with Vitamin D is a must.
- The power couple: Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 work together to maintain proper calcium levels in your body. Think of them as a team! It’s best to search for a supplement that contains both Vitamin D and Vitamin K2. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Dosage: Consulting with your doctor/practitioner is your best bet here. Most products range from 1,000-5,000 IU (international units) per dose.
- Sunshine: You can’t beat good old fashioned sunshine when it comes to the natural absorption of Vitamin D. For best absorption, go out into direct sunlight for a maximum of 20 minutes without sun protection. Anything longer than that, you’ll want to protect yourself with SPF. This will not only provide you with Vitamin D, but you’ll most likely have an improved mood from that little dose of sunshine. I like to call it sunshine magic!
- Foods: I know I said not to rely on diet alone to provide you with adequate Vitamin D, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t incorporate some of these great options into your routine. After all, you can’t go wrong with any of these delicious choices.
- Fatty Fish: Think Salmon, Mackerel, and Sardines. Wild-caught is best, in fact, according to Healthline, “Wild salmon contains about 988 IU of vitamin D per serving, while farmed salmon contains 250 IU, on average. That’s 124% and 32% of the DV, respectively.” My favorite sustainable wild-caught brand is Wild Planet.
- Eggs: Specifically the egg yolk, so make sure to include that into your morning scramble or omelet.
- Shellfish: Shrimp and Oysters are rich in both minerals and vitamins including Vitamin D. My favorite way to eat oysters is raw, but if you’re not into that, try broiling them with a little bit of lemon and sea salt.
Now that you have some handy items for your tool belt in regards to getting your daily dose of Vitamin D, what are you planning on adding to your routine? For me, it’s the perfect combo of sunshine, supplement, and food that do the trick.