How to get your share of vitamin D

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

sunlight
Ahhh, it feels good to be out in the warm Sun.

A recent report from the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that taking multivitamin supplements such as vitamin D pills are simply a waste of money; we get enough nutrition from the food we consume. However, an imperfect diet could mean you’re not getting enough vitamin D, so here are a few ways to increase your intake.

You’ve probably heard this before, but drinking milk is a great source for the bone-strengthening vitamin. An 8-ounce glass contains about 100 out of the 800 daily recommended international units (IUs) of vitamin D. Additionally, it contains calcium, which is also useful for absorbing vitamin D and keeping bones healthy and strong. If you are lactose intolerant (meaning you can’t digest the “lactose” sugar in milk), don’t worry, because the same amount of vitamin D can be found in an 8-ounce glass of orange juice, too.

In fact, that glass of OJ would go perfectly with a sunnyside-up egg breakfast, which is another place to find vitamin D, since the yolk contains about 40 IUs. Be cautious with the high amounts of cholesterol, however – it’s important to use eggs as an extra boost now and then, not as a main source.

Finally, take the time to go out and enjoy the warm rays of the Sun. Believe it or not, the natural light stimulates our bodies to make vitamin D. “If you’re going to get it from the sun, about 20 to 25 minutes of exposure is helpful,” says Stephen Honig, MD, director of the Osteoporosis Center at the Hospital for Joint Diseases. Be careful not to overexpose yourself though, since too much sunlight has been linked to skin cancer. Other places to find the nutrient is in certain fish, cereals, and cod oils.

Featured image courtesy of BaileyRaeWeaver on Flickr. Image of sunlit hat courtesy of  Tricia Wang on Flickr.