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Getting Vitamin D: Foods, Sunlight, and Supplements for Optimal Health

Vitamin D is an essential micronutrient that plays a critical role in our overall health. Calcium absorption is aided by it, bone growth is encouraged, and our immune system is bolstered.[0] Despite the importance of vitamin D, deficiency remains a common problem, affecting people of all ages, particularly infants and adults.[0] While the most natural source of this vitamin is sunlight, it is recommended to get it from a combination of sources, including food and supplements.

Obtaining enough vitamin D through diet can be difficult, particularly for vegans and vegetarians, as excellent sources such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products are not available to them. Therefore, supplements can be a useful option for individuals who are at risk of deficiency.

Sunshine is an excellent source of Vitamin D and exposure to sunlight two to three times a week is needed for adequate vitamin D. However, several factors can affect the amount of vitamin D produced, such as time of day, season, latitude, and skin color.[1] Excessive exposure to sunlight can lead to sunburn and increase the risk of skin cancer, so it is important to take precautions to avoid this.[0]

Foods that contain vitamin D include: dairy milk, plant milks, orange juice, fortified spreads, and breakfast cereals. Mushrooms and tofu are plant-based sources of Vitamin D, yet they contain the less potent form, Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), and in smaller amounts. Similar to humans, mushrooms are also capable of producing vitamin D in their skin when exposed to UV rays.[2]

But how do you know if you lack Vitamin D? Many people with vitamin D deficiency may not experience any symptoms at all. In order to determine if you are deficient in vitamin D, the best course of action is to get a blood test to measure your levels.

In conclusion, it is important to get vitamin D from a combination of sources, including food and supplements, rather than relying solely on sunlight. This will ensure optimal health and prevent chronic diseases. Adults also benefit from getting regular sun exposure to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D.[0]

0. “The Sunshine Vitamin: The Importance of Vitamin D for Infants and Adults” EURACTIV, 2 Mar. 2023,

1. “How much sun exposure you should be getting weekly for healthy vitamin D levels” Express, 4 Mar. 2023,

2. “Your Vitamin D Is About To Run Dry – Experts Say We Need To Take Action Now” HuffPost UK, 1 Mar. 2023,

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