Let’s face it- autumn is almost here. It’s a sad realization that no longer will we be able to spend our days lying in the sand at the beach (slathered in SPF 50, of course, right?). Ahead are days of sitting in the library until all hours of the morning, squinting at notes under a fluorescent light. That certainly is not conducive to a great tan. While we can’t condone toasting yourself in the sun- which can lead to skin cancer, which can be deadly - there is one health benefit to sunny days spent outside. It is very hard to get enough Vitamin D without spending at least some time in the summer sunlight each week. Nature works against us here in New England. During the fall, winter, and early spring months, the sun is not nearly as strong as it is in the summer. And people are also indoors a lot more due to the chilling quality of the weather outside. Studies have shown that 42% of American adults are deficient in Vitamin D, and the highest rates among those were in Hispanics and African Americans. Vitamin D is necessary for us to stay healthy. It is
important for strong bones, even in adulthood, and also has a benefit of calcium absorption throughout the body1 . Vitamin D is a tough vitamin to get through food intake, since so few foods contain high amounts of it. This is a vitamin we have to be concentrate on getting enough of through the winter months. If you like fish, eating a serving of swordfish, salmon or tuna will give you about enough Vitamin D for a day. Milk and yogurt are fortified with Vitamin D, and eggs contain a passable amount. Mushrooms also contain it, and growers have a new technique for enhancing the amount of Vitamin D in mushrooms by exposing them to UV light.
Look for these mushrooms in the grocery store as a great source of Vitamin D2. Your bones will thank you.
To read more information on the importance of getting enough Vitamin D, see this Washington Post article.