Skip Nav
Workouts
Strengthen and Tighten Your Abdominal Muscles With This Trainer's 4-Week Program
Brie Larson Ab Exercise
Celebrity Fitness
Brie Larson Makes the Hardest Ab Exercise Look Easy, and Then Celebrates With a Doughnut
Gifts For Men
Calling All Keto Queens: Prepare to Flip Over These Perfect Stocking Stuffers
Workouts
I Trained With Michael B. Jordan's Trainer, and You've Got to Try His Muscle-Sculpting Workout
Healthy Recipes
These 16 Slow-Cooker Recipes All Have Fall's Most Versatile Vegetable: Butternut Squash

How to Get More Vitamin D

Why You Need More Vitamin D in Winter

The short, dark days of Winter are here, so it's even more important to make sure you are getting enough vitamin D. Dietitian Julie Upton, MS, RD, of Appetite For Health explains why.

The cold, dark days of Winter may be a real threat on your health, thanks to the precipitous drop of vitamin D, aka the "sunshine vitamin," during this time of year.

Seasonal variations in vitamin D status are well documented: a recent University of California-Irvine and Mayo Clinic study with 3.44 million blood samples of Americans found that serum vitamin D levels are highest in August after several months of exposure to sunshine and lowest in February due to dwindling daylight. In fact, a national survey of US women reported that 42 percent are considered vitamin D deficient.

ADVERTISEMENT

While vitamin D is essential to absorb calcium for bone health, the sunshine vitamin's benefits extend well beyond your bones. Vitamin D is essential for the immune system and improves insulin sensitivity, mood, and muscular strength. It's also thought to help in reducing belly fat and protects against autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Some studies even suggest low vitamin D may up risk for several types of cancer (including breast) and dementia.

How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

The Institute of Medicine recommends 600 IU per day for adults, but many other experts believe that 1,000-2,000 IU is optimal. Try incorporating natural sources of vitamin D and vitamin-D-enriched foods into your diet to get at least 600 IU per day. A supplement of vitamin D2 or D3 can also help ensure that you're getting enough.

Vitamin-D-Rich Foods

Vitamin D is notoriously hard to get because only a few foods naturally contain it. Cod liver oil, fatty fish, egg yolks, liver, and mushrooms are the few foods that naturally contain significant amounts of vitamin D, but you can also find foods and beverages fortified with it, like milk and nondairy beverages. Use the list below to boost vitamin D in your diet.

Other Foods With Vitamin D

  • 1 tablesoon cod liver oil: 1,360 IU
  • 3 ounces wild Alaskan Sockeye (red) salmon (all salmon contains vitamin D, but wild Alaskan is highest and is also sustainable): 930 IU
  • 3 ounces canned Alaska Sockeye (red) salmon: 790 IU
  • 1 large fortified egg: 120 IU
  • 1 cup fortified soymilk, 120 IU
  • 1 cup fortified milk, 100 IU
  • 6 ounces yogurt (varies by brand; many contain no vitamin D): 40-100 IU
  • 1 cup fortified orange juice (varies by brand): 100-130 IU
  • 1 tablespoon Country Crock With Calcium & Vitamin D: 80 IU
  • 1 large egg yolk: 40 IU
  • 1 ounce swiss cheese: 12 IU

Values from USDA Nutrient Database and manufacturers' websites.

Image Source: Thinkstock
From Our Partners
Reasons to Get an IUD
2019 Fitness Planners
Tips to Deal With Holiday Stress
Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak November 2018
Best Mindfulness Apps
How to Stop an Anxiety Attack
What It's Like to Get a Hysterectomy as a Transgender Man
Can Keto Raise Your Cholesterol?
Can the Pill Affect Libido?
Is Loneliness Bad For Your Health?
OstrichPillow Original Travel Pillow
Can a Weighted Blanket Help Nervous Flyers?
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds