Vitamin D has been shown to activate more healing genes than anything else ever discovered! It's great for your bones, immune system, and mood.
Due to so many of us living the majority of our lives indoors, a lot of us are vitamin D deficient and don't even know it.
5 Reasons You May Be Vitamin D Deficient
You may be deficient in vitamin D if you:
- Rarely Get Sunshine on Skin
- Live Far From the Equator
- Don't Eat a Vitamin D-rich Diet
- Have Dark Skin
- Don't Supplement Vitamin D
Rarely Get Sunshine on Skin
Sunshine is the absolute best way to get vitamin D. It's produced after the sun shines on your bare skin. However, our modern lives often restrict us from nature more than we realize. We spend a third of our lives sleeping, and about as much time working, both of which are usually done indoors.
Also remember you're usually fully clothed when outside. Unless you spend a lot of time in the warmer months outside in the sun wearing a bathing suit, you probably need more vitamin D. It's important to take the opportunity to get sunlight on your skin whenever you can, especially during the times UVB rays reach us (see below).
Live Far From the Equator
It's not enough to merely go outside in the sun when you can. Your body doesn't produce vitamin D from all sunlight. It's only available during some hours of the day, at most, and only during some months out of the year. The hours each day and months each year you can produce vitamin D depends on where you live. To better understand why, let's start with the two different types of UV rays that reach the surface of the Earth:
We only produce produce vitamin D from UVB rays. UVB only penetrates our atmosphere and gets to us when the sun is at least 50° or more above the horizon. That means we can't get vitamin D from all sunshine. It's only during a few hours each day that we can get it, at best. Depending on the altitude of the sun, your geographical location, the season, and time of day, you may be able to get a lot of vitamin D or you may not be able to get any.
To find out what hours vitamin D is available to you in your area, go to this site and type in your city and state, and change the date a few times, to see what hours the altitude of the sun is over 50° above the horizon. Click here for a video showing you how to do it.
Don't Eat a Vitamin D-rich Diet
Besides getting vitamin D from the sun, you can either supplement with it or you can get some from food sources. Unfortunately, foods high in vitamin D aren't common in the standard America diet. Many people think they get adequate amounts of vitamin D from drinking milk. I wouldn't count on it. Tests have shown there’s usually significantly less vitamin D in milk than is claimed to be on the jug, and it’s very inconsistent. So don’t count on milk alone for your vitamin D needs.
Because vitamin D was found to cure the childhood disease rickets in the 1920s, U.S. milk manufacturers began to add vitamin D to the milk and marketing as “vitamin D fortified.” Other products have since been fortified with vitamin D.
If you’re going to drink milk, don’t drink conventional milk that has been pasteurized and homogenized. These two modern processes bring us processed milk with most of the beneficial things in it either damaged or destroyed. Instead of the government regulating milk producers to ensure clean working environments, they allow them have less sanitary working conditions but they have to pasteurize the milk instead. Raw milk is much better.
The best food source of vitamin D is cod liver oil. Cod liver oil is the #1 food source of fat-soluble vitamins. As is typical with oils, quality makes all the difference. There is some controversy surrounding cod liver oil, but if you’re getting good quality cod liver oil it’s really good for you. You can buy the cod liver oil I use and recommend here.
Other fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and eel are also good sources of vitamin D. There’s also some vitamin D in beef liver and egg yolk. If chaga is dried outside in the sun it may have some vitamin D in it. Other mushrooms may have vitamin D too.
Have Dark Skin
The darker your skin, the more sun you'll need in order to produce the same amount of vitamin D. Darker skin acts as a shield to protect the body from sun damage. In the process, it blocks a lot of vitamin D production.
Don't Supplement Vitamin D
Most people are vitamin D deficient for the reasons listed above. Therefore, it's probably a good idea for you to supplement with vitamin D. If you'd rather not, I'd recommend getting your vitamin D levels tested to make sure you've got enough. Otherwise, I'd supplement with vitamin D. At least on the days you're unable to get it from the sun. 5,000 IUs is a good general rule, but don't take more than 10,000.
You can find two different types of vitamin D supplements below. One is in capsules and the other is liquid, which is good for young children.