Soak Up the Sunshine: Your Guide to Getting Enough Vitamin D

Soak Up the Sunshine: Your Guide to Getting Enough Vitamin D

Vitamin D is having a major moment right now. And for good reason! This important nutrient is linked to strong bones, a healthy immune system, improved mood, and protection against various diseases. Despite its merits, many people fall short on their vitamin D intake. Read on as we shine a light on 9 ways to eat a diet bursting with vitamin D.

1. Catch Some Rays

First things first—where does vitamin D come from? The sun! When UV rays hit your skin, it causes vitamin D production. Get outside for some good old-fashioned sun time when possible.

Aim for 5-30 minutes of midday sunlight, 2-3 times per week. That gives your body adequate time to generate vitamin D without risking skin damage. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Pro Tip: Those with darker complexions need longer sun exposure since higher melanin levels inhibit vitamin D absorption.

2. Choose Fatty Fish

By far one of the best natural food sources, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are overflowing with vitamin D.

These fish store vitamin D in their flesh and fat. A 3-ounce cooked salmon fillet packs 50% of your recommended daily value. Not too shabby!

Try eating fatty fish 2-3 times per week. Salmon makes an easy protein swap for tacos, salads, bowls, and more. Canned tuna and sardines work nicely for sandwiches, toast-toppers, pasta mixes, and snacks.

3. Look for Fortified Foods

Many common grocery items have vitamin D added through fortification. This helpful process boosts nutrient content. Check the ingredient list and nutrition label when shopping to identify fortified items.

Some to look out for include milk, yogurt, orange juice, soy milk, cow’s milk alternatives (like almond milk), cereal and grains.

Fun Fact: Did you know manufacturers fortify products voluntarily? The FDA doesn’t require vitamin D fortification, though they provide guidance.

4. Reconsider Egg Yolks

We’ve been told to limit egg yolks over cholesterol concerns. But theTABLES have turned and nutrition experts now encourage eating whole eggs. The golden egg yolk is nature’s little vitamin D jackpot!

A large egg yolk packs about 40 IU, which is a decent dose. Omelets, breakfast tacos, baked goods...the possibilities are endless. Don’t toss the yolks, folks.

5. Make Magic with Mushrooms

No, not those kind of mushrooms! Plain old mushrooms also boast vitamin D, one of the only non-fortified plant sources. Sweet.

Shiitake and maitake mushrooms include particularly good amounts. Sneak them into soups, sautés, casseroles, and pasta dishes for a flavor and nutrition boost.

Exposure to UV light significantly ramps up mushrooms’ D content. Even just 5-10 minutes of irradiation can drastically increase levels by over 100%!

6. Don’t Overlook Organ Meats

Organ meats don’t get much love. But they offer nutritional redemption through impressively high vitamin D content!

Beef liver has the most at 50 IU per 3-ounce serving. Other standouts include kidney, heart and gizzard.

We know organ meats seem intimidating. Start slowly by adding to stews, chili, casseroles and meatloaf. The strong flavors tend to blend nicely.

7. Energize Your Day with BrainPOP

Forget ordinary sodas. Why settle for sugar-filled drinks that provide zero nutritional value? These days, health-conscious consumers want it all - great taste AND nutritional benefits.

Let us introduce you to BrainPOP smart sodas. This deliciously bubbly line of cognitive sodas delivers both flavor and function.

As the founder of BrainPOP, I was inspired to create a healthy soda option I could feel good about drinking daily. Now, our BrainPOP sodas offer a uniquely tasty beverage overflowing with vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants.

Specifically, our BrainPOP smart sodas feature vitamin D - the superstar nutrient we’ve discussed throughout this article.
Refreshing flavors like mojito, dragon fruit, coconut and mango provide added indulgence. Diet who? No need to choose between enjoying soda flavors you love and nourishing your body.

We cracked the code on healthy soda with our line of tantalizing cognitive fuel. BrainPOP is truly the sparkling smart soda of the future. Our flavors satisfy soda cravings while the added nutrients provide health advantages you can feel good about.

Stay energized and nourished with BrainPOP - the most refreshing way to get your daily dose of vitamins. Our variety pack makes the perfect grab-and-go beverage for work, parties, picnics and everything in between.

8. Take Supplements as Needed

While dietary sources are best, supplements help bridge intake gaps. Multivitamins typically provide 400-800 IU vitamin D per capsule. Standalone vitamin D supplements are another safe, effective option.

Speak with your doctor about appropriate supplemental doses based on bloodwork and individual health factors. People at higher deficiency risk may temporarily need 2,000-4,000 IU daily.

9. Get Your Levels Tested

This one goes hand-in-hand with supplementation. Testing vitamin D blood levels helps gauge your status and customize intake needs.

Doctors frequently include the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test in routine bloodwork. Optimal values fall between 30-80 ng/mL. Below 30 indicates deficiency requiring treatment.

Certain groups are at higher deficiency risk, like those living in cold climates and people with darker complexions. Testing ensures adequate supplementation.

The Takeaway: Enjoy a Balanced Approach

In review, the three pillars for meeting vitamin D needs include:

Food sources like seafood, eggs, fortified items and organ meats

Supplements (as needed)

Aim for balance across all three areas based on your location, schedule and lifestyle factors. Testing vitamin D blood levels helps assess what balance looks like for you.

Prioritizing this multifaceted nutrient pays dividends through better bone health, disease prevention and reduced risk for various chronic illnesses. And it doesn’t need to be complicated. Simply incorporating more vitamin D-rich foods into everyday meals makes a big impact.

Finally, don’t underestimate the value of enjoying regular outdoor activity for a mood and health boost! Take a cue from BrainPOP’s mantra to #DrinkToThink. Here’s to nourishing our bodies AND minds through strategic approaches to nutrition and wellbeing. Cheers to vitamin D!

Back to blog