If you’re interested in keeping your immune system healthy, you might consider boosting your vitamin D intake. Vitamin D also performs other critical functions in the body, such as strengthening bones and teeth and regulating insulin levels. It can also help to ward off certain serious diseases.
Even though we manufacture our own vitamin D in response to exposure to sunlight, many Americans are still deficient in this important nutrient. Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is linked not only to an impaired immune system, but also to development of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.
If you don’t spend enough time outdoors, don’t consume enough vitamin D through diet, or have a darker skin tone that makes it harder for you to absorb sunlight, you could be at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Here are twelve ways to boost your intake:
So, how much vitamin D do you need? Most adults and children should try to obtain 15 micrograms of the nutrient daily, but those over 70 should shoot for 20 micrograms. Of course, you can’t really overdose on sunlight (as long as you take steps to prevent sunburn), so enjoy all the outdoor time you want! And if you suspect vitamin D deficiency, talk to your physician about the associated risks and preventive tests you should consider.