Vitamin D boosts our moods, immune systems, helps our bones and teeth to grow strong. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin that, when deficient, has been linked to diseases like rickets, cognitive impairment in the elderly, some cancers, and an increased risk for cardiovascular issues. Bottom line: it’s important.
While vitamin D is present in some food sources, the most common way we get it is through sun exposure. But that isn’t necessarily the safest option. Sun exposure can lead to sunburns that are immediately felt and increase the risk of melanoma and skin cancer.
Our skin naturally produces vitamin D in response to the UVA rays we absorb through sun exposure. But that doesn’t mean that unprotected sun exposure is a good idea, or even more effective method of getting your daily vitamin D. If you’re going to be in the sun, wear your sunscreen! Studies have shown that using sunscreen has no detrimental effect on your vitamin D production. Actually, people who use sunscreen on a regular basis tend to have higher and more stable levels across the board. Most dermatologists do say that our vitamin D needs can be met through the sun through incidental exposure.
Another source of vitamin D is food. Even though most of us can get our vitamin D from incidental exposure to the sun that isn’t super reliable. The most reliable sources of vitamin D in food comes from:
Fish high in fats, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel
Vitamin D fortified cow and soy milk
Vitamin D fortified cereals
The high fat fish are the richest source of vitamin D found in food, and the fortified milk and cereals following. Eggs and cheese do contain some of the vitamin, but not enough to be relied upon safely.
And of course, there’s always a daily vitamin regime that includes vitamin D. You can get safe doses of vitamin D in over the counter form from most places that sell vitamins. And there’s always getting a prescription from your doctor if it’s a concern of that caliber. All of it, without putting your skins health at risk.