Vitamin D is essential to maintaining strong and healthy bones; recent research also suggests that Vitamin D can help fight colds, boost the immune system, and improve symptoms of depression. Unfortunately, few of us are getting enough Vitamin D.
Sometimes known as the “sunshine vitamin” because sunlight triggers its production, it can be difficult for many adults to get enough Vitamin D because of the limited amount of time they spend outdoors. A recent study at the University of Colorado School of Medicine found that as many as 50% of those surveyed had Vitamin D deficiencies – particularly in the winter months.
“People think that if they have a good, balanced diet that they will get enough vitamin D, and that’s actually not true,” says assistant professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, Michal Melamed, MD. “Unless you eat a lot of fish and drink a lot of milk, you can’t get enough vitamin D from diet.”
If you are not getting enough Vitamin D, follow these number of ways to boost vitamin D intake.
1. Fatty fish
One of the best sources of Vitamin D is fatty fish, including salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, and eel. The Institute of Medicine recommends adults consume 800 international units (IUs) of Vitamin D per day; a 3-ounce salmon fillet contains about 450 IUs, getting you well on your way to the daily recommended intake. Eating fatty fish also has another health bonus – they are full of heart-healthy fatty acids!
2. Fortified milk and juice
Almost all cow’s milk in the United States is fortified with Vitamin D; an average glass of milk contains about 100 IUs of Vitamin D, while a cup of yogurt contains an average of 80 IUs. Unfortunately, most cheeses and ice creams are not fortified with Vitamin D.
Many orange juices are also fortified with Vitamin D. Not all brands are fortified, so make sure to check the label for the exact amount in each serving. A glass of Florida’s Natural orange juice, for example, contains 100 IUs of Vitamin D.
If you’re still having trouble getting enough Vitamin D through diet and lifestyle changes, consider taking a Vitamin D supplement. At 4ever Mints, our Vitamin D peppermints are designed to provide a slow but continuous 2-hour release of Vitamin D. This makes them ideal for those who experience gastric irritation from a single, large dose oral pill. Each 4ever Mints + Vitamin D mint contains 1,666 IUs of Vitamin D. Whether you’re feeling “blue,” wanting to improve chronic skeletal pain, or simply looking to improve overall health, 4ever Mints + Vitamin D freshens breath while meeting the recommended daily intake.
4. Spend time outside
Because most of us spend the majority of our time indoors, we’re often unintentionally limiting our body’s natural Vitamin D production.
“We spend a lot less time in sun [than in the past], and when we are out in the sun we put sunblock on because we’re afraid of getting melanoma,” Dr. Melamed says. “We are, as a community, very vitamin D deficient.”
Spending as little as 20-25 minutes outdoors each day can significantly improve Vitamin D production in the body. But remember to skip the sunscreen; a small amount of sun exposure is unlikely to increase your risk of developing skin cancers, while wearing SPF blocks the body from absorbing the sunshine it needs.