Are you suffering from chronic bone and muscle pain? Have you been feeling physically and mentally lethargic lately? Are you repeatedly falling prey to infections like the common cold and flu even after taking precautions? Well, then there's a good chance you have a vitamin D deficiency.
The U.S. Endocrine Society states an adult requires anywhere between 1500 to 2000 IU (International Units) of vitamin D every day. However, this is a feat only 60% of Americans achieve, which means a whopping 40% are deficient in vitamin D!
Fortunately, there are 100% natural ways to boost this critical vitamin level in your body
8 Natural Ways to Treat Vitamin D Deficiency
1. Get more sun
This is a no-brainer! Since absorption of the sun's UV rays produces vitamin D, exposing yourself to it every day will level up your deficiency. Studies reveal that, on an average, a light-skinned individual must spend anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes under the sun, whereas dark-skinned individuals require a little more.
2. Eat fish
Certain fish are rich in vitamin D. For example, 2 fillets of sardines carry 46 IU, 3 ounces of tuna comes with 154 IU, and 3 ounces of salmon has 447 IU's worth of vitamin D. Bear in mind, we're talking about cooked fish. When you eat these types of fish in the raw form, as is popularly done by sushi lovers, the vitamin D quantity goes up.
- Consume cod liver oil
Consuming cod liver oil in its liquid form to improve your vitamin D deficiency is challenging, as it's bitter. However just 1 teaspoon of this oil carries 453 IU of vitamin D! So if you're unable to consume raw oil every day, take cod liver oil capsules to bump up your vitamin D levels.
- Incorporate certain juices, and egg yolk in your diet
If you're a vegetarian or are okay eating eggs, you're in luck. Certain foods like mushrooms, egg yolk, and fortified orange juice are rich sources of vitamin D.
1 egg yolk contains 41 IUs of vitamin D, whereas 1 cup of fortified orange juice contains 137 IU, and a cup of mushrooms packs 2 IUs of vitamin D.
Other foods that contain vitamin D include – cow's milk, non-dairy milk substitutes like almond, soy, and hemp milk and tofu which are suitable for vegans.
- Opt for a vitamin D supplement
While eating foods rich in vitamin D is a healthy practice, it’s incomplete unless you supplement these foods with additional sources. Simply because you'd have to consume copious amounts of said foods every day to reach your vitamin D quota. Instead, support your diet by taking an oral vitamin D supplement. These are available over the counter, and your physician can customize the dosage. Vitamin D supplements are also vegan-friendly.
- Purchase a UV lamp
The winter season discourages people from stepping out, and also decreases exposure to sunlight. No wonder more people are at risk of vitamin D deficiency during this time. To remedy this, you can purchase a UV-B radiation lamp and expose yourself to its light for several minutes every day.
- Expose more skin area for higher absorption of vitamin D
The logic is simple, the more surface area of your skin you expose, the better your vitamin D absorption will be. If you go in the sun fully covered, with only your face and palms showing, your absorption will be low, even after 30 minutes of exposure. Therefore, try wearing clothes that expose your hands, shoulder, and legs while stepping out, at least during the summer, and when your primary goal is to boost your vitamin D levels. It's always best to use a suitable SPF sunscreen when doing this.
- Get checked for health conditions that hinder vitamin D absorption
If your vitamin D levels are low, regardless of following all the right protocols for natural absorption, perhaps an underlying condition is hampering absorption. For example, Crohn's or Celiac diseases hinder vitamin D absorption in your body.
Research also links obesity to low levels of vitamin D because it leads to low levels of mobility, which reduces your chances of sun exposure. If any of these conditions are lingering underneath, you first need to remedy them, and then your vitamin D absorption will go up.
To manage Crohn's or Celiac disease, consult your physician. For managing obesity, start with a 100% natural weight-management substitute like Calocurb along with a well-balanced diet and exercise.
The Bottom Line
Even though the world gets enough sun, people don't! And, if you're one of them, it's time to take corrective measures by first getting yourself tested for vitamin D levels. If you are indeed deficient, start yourself on these 8 natural ways to boost the sunshine vitamin.