Vitamin D plays a role in many aspects of your health—it can impact depression, ability to get pregnant, erectile (dys)function, and so many other bodily mechanisms. When one of these problems present, a thorough doctor will usually check your Vitamin D levels (this is also done at check-ups, although most doctors don’t have time to do true check-ups anymore).
But isn’t it better to just make sure you’re getting enough before you’re sitting in the doctor’s office getting needled and paying for lab tests?
There are lots of yummy foods that contain Vitamin D—like fish, eggs, mushrooms, dairy, and fortified foods like cereal. But most people don’t get enough from their diet—you need to get regular sunshine, too. Specifically, you need about* 20 minutes full (swimsuit coverage) exposure (*about because different seasons, latitudes and elevations have different sun intensities).
Do you sunbathe for 20 minutes a day? Even through winter? And never mind the skin cancer risk, especially if you already spent lots of time in the sun through your youth!
Most doctors recommend a daily multivitamin that contains Vitamin D. And make sure it’s a high-quality multivitamin, and not a grocery store placebo! A good multivitamin will also balance Vitamin D with other essential nutrients like Calcium, Vitamin A, etc. Cheap vitamins tend to have fillers, and spot-testing has shown their ingredients and labels don’t match up!
So do a little pre-emptive planning for yourself by using a good safety-net to ensure you have sufficient levels of Vitamin D. You may still want to get tested down the line—people with gastrointestinal illnesses like Crohn’s, Celiac, etc. have trouble absorbing nutrients and may need more vitamins than an otherwise healthy person. And if we’re being honest, not everyone eats reliably healthy at every single meal!
With winter coming up, get ahead of seasonal depression and a lack of sunlight by putting a little extra Vitamin D in your diet now!