Amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life, ensuring you are getting the right amount of essential nutrients in your body every day is not easy.
One nutrient most people often overlook is vitamin D.
Funnily, this also happens to be one of the easiest vitamins to obtain as vitamin D can be gotten naturally from the sun. However, don’t assume just because you are soaking in the rays a couple of minutes each day in summer is enough for you.
Matter of fact, as many as 42% of Americans are not getting enough vitamin D. A deficiency of this vitamin usually results in a poor immune system, weak bones, and a heightened risk for diseases.
The big question is, how much vitamin D do you really need?
Well, it actually depends.
If you are an adult under the age of 70, the recommended intake per day is 600 IU (international units — the unit of measurement for vitamin D).
If you are over 70, the daily recommended intake is 800 IU.
If that sounds too rigid, here are a few simple things you can do to make sure you are getting enough each day.
Sun rays spur the body to manufacture vitamin D.
However, due to the small matter of skin cancer risk, we still do not have an official recommendation to drink up the sun’s rays. A little exposure every day (about 20–25 minutes) without sunscreen should do the trick, though.
But there are a few caveats to this party rule.
If you live in higher altitudes, the sun is less likely to provide your recommended daily dose. The same goes for the winter season, ditto older and dark-skinned individuals (the process is less efficient as we grow older and skin pigment blocks light).