What happens to the Vitamin D you so naturally produce when you used to be able to go outside?

Vitamin D, more fondly referred to as the sunshine vitamin, is more important now than ever. In 2012 alone, it was estimated that about a billion people worldwide weren’t getting enough vitamin D. Today, as we are all urged to stay indoors due to the pandemic, less sunlight exposure could lead to more deficiencies.

Those with the luxury of a balcony space can take 10 to 30 minutes a day to soak up the sunshine all its glory, but those without one can still get their vitamin D fix from other sources. 

While it does not prevent COVID-19, research has shown that it can help to keep your immune system healthy and protect against respiratory illnesses as well as fortifying bone health.

Since most of us aren’t able to get outdoors in the middle of the day, include the following in your diet for a healthy dose of vitamin D.

Disclaimer: For those with medical conditions or are undertaking medication, please seek advice from your doctor. 

Salmon 

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Wild salmon is known for containing high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, but what many don’t know is that they are a great source of vitamin D as well. According to the Boston University team, each serving of wild salmon contains close to half of your vitamin D requirements for the day, making it an easy way to get it into your system.

Egg yolks 

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Egg yolks aren’t the most popular of ingredients. Most people skip them in favour of egg white since they are known to raise levels of “bad” cholesterol. However, this means you will be missing out on the minerals found in them and that includes vitamin D, zinc and selenium, all of which play a role in boosting your immune system. One egg yolk amounts to about 10 percent of your daily vitamin D requirement.

Mushrooms 

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Not all mushrooms are full of vitamin D. Farm-grown mushrooms that were harvested indoors have significantly less amount of vitamin D compared those that have been exposed to UV light. Most mushrooms given this extra treatment will be labelled as such, so be sure to keep a lookout when purchasing them at your local supermarket

Sardines

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Apart from being one of the more affordable fish options, sardines are also high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamin D. Two canned sardines are about 12 percent of your daily vitamin intake, while a piece of fresh sardine amounts to about 10 percent. 

Supplements

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If you’re concerned that you might not be getting enough vitamin D from your diet, you can always turn to supplements. Vitamin D supplements come in two forms: D2,  harvested from yeast or mushrooms that have been exposed to UV rays, and D3, derived from fish oil or sheep’s wool.

When taken in smaller, daily doses, both have generally the same effect, but if taken in larger amounts, D3 supplements are more effective in improving the vitamin D status in your body. The dosages for the soft gel vary, with most people obtaining the ones with a dosage of 1000iu. As vitamin D is fat-soluble, consuming your soft gel with fatty foods may help increase its rate of absorption. 

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.

Jocelyn Tan
Writer
Jocelyn Tan is a travel and design writer. She's probably indulging in serial killer podcasts or reading one too many books on East Asian history. When she actually gets to travel, you can find her attempting to stuff her entire wardrobe into her luggage. Yes, she's a chronic over-packer.