Vitamin D is a powerhouse nutrient that performs a range of important jobs in our bodies, from helping us absorb the calcium we need for healthy bones, to supporting our immune system.
Often dubbed the sunshine vitamin, due to our bodies’ ability to absorb vitamin D from UV-B rays, vitamin D is an essential component in our health and well-being.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a hormone produced by our kidneys. It exists in two forms, vitamin D2, which is found in many foods, and vitamin D3, which is formed when our skin is exposed to the sun.
Why is Vitamin D important?
Because vitamin D is utilised in so many functions of our immune, digestive, circulatory and nervous systems, it’s ultra important that we maintain adequate levels – aka 5-10 micrograms or 200-400 IU per day.
Research conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics suggests as many as 1 in 4 Australians are deficient in vitamin D. Long-term, this can cause numerous health issues resulting from a loss of bone density, weakened immune system and muscle deficiency.
There are many simple ways to boost your vitamin D levels. Here are 5 of the most common ways:
- Spend time in the sun
The best source of vitamin D is free – sunshine! When UV-B rays from the sun hit our skin, it kicks off an internal process that activates Vitamin D, and makes it available for our bodies to use.
Importantly, our bodies can get all the vitamin D we need in just 10-15 minutes. But be sure to expose your skin safely and avoid spending long periods in the sun without protection.
- Buy a UV lamp
If you live in a place with long periods of no sunlight, you can invest in a UV lamp. These readily available items enhance your vitamin D levels by emitting UV-B radiation. However, be sure to follow usage guidelines, as these generally limit the time of exposure per day.
- Eat oily fish and seafood
In addition to being some of the richest natural vitamin D sources, a lot of seafood and fatty fish have the added bonus of containing heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. By adding items like canned tuna, salmon, oysters and anchovies to your weekly shop, you can give your vitamin D levels a natural hit.
- Explore other Vitamin D rich foods
Many other foods are fortified with vitamin D during the preparation process. Cow and plant-based milks, cereals and yoghurt are examples of foods fortified with vitamin D. Whilst further natural sources are found in egg yolks and mushrooms.
- Take a supplement
Your vitamin D levels can be enhanced by taking a regular supplement like the Faulding® Vitamin D 1000IU. And remember, it’s worth investing in a good quality brand when choosing the best supplement to support your long-term well-being.
As always, be sure to check in with your healthcare provider if you think you may be Vitamin D deficient – and enjoy the sunshine!