Do you get eight hours of sleep a night and somehow still go through the next day at work feeling like you’re on a morphine drip in a warm room and trying to stay awake while watching an old PBS documentary about the Industrial Revolution? Do you get colds in July? Do you sometimes forget how to read and write good?
You probably need to get some D, then. Some Vitamin D, that is, because chances are you’re Vitamin D deficient. Why? There are a billion people in the world (at least) who are currently suffering from a Vitamin D deficiency, and the number is growing. Especially with Americans. That’s because it’s pretty common and easy for your Vitamin D levels to drop. It’s easy to miss out on Vitamin D in your diet and, even if you do eat Vitamin D rich foods like egg yolks and salmon, you still might not be getting enough Vitamin D because your body may not be properly absorbing it.
Common Reasons You May Be Vitamin D Deficient
- Not Eating Enough Fish, Eggs, or Dairy
- Not Enough Exposure to Sunlight
- Having Dark Skin
- Being Elderly
- Being Overweight
- Your Body Not Absorbing the Vitamin D You Get from Your Diet
Vitamin D is also, of course, what your body creates when it absorbs sunlight. So if you spend your entire day working in an office and get roughly as much daily sun exposure as a mole person, if you live further north, or have darker skin and thus absorb less sunlight, there’s a good chance that’s yet another reason you’re not getting much Vitamin D. Long story short, basically everyone has a decent risk of Vitamin D Deficiency.
Signs You Are Vitamin D Deficient
- Getting Sick A Lot/Weakened Immune System
- Slower Healing of Cuts and Wounds
- Back, Joint, and Bone Pain
- Muscle Weakness
- Weakened Cognitive Abilities
You’d be forgiven if at this point you’re thinking, “What kind of crappy evolutionary oversight is this? I need Vitamin D but my body, seemingly by some egregious design flaw, does an awful job of getting it? Nice one, God.”
It’s not a super efficient arrangement, that’s for sure. Thankfully there are some easy ways to get the amount of Vitamin D your body needs.
The Best Ways to Up Your Vitamin D
First and foremost you have to make sure you’re eating foods rich in Vitamin D. Having low Vitamin D levels messes with your body and mind and causes a litany of health problems, so a few slight alterations to your diet are definitely worth it. The risk factors associated with severe Vitamin D deficiency are too great to just ignore. (Nobody wants heart disease or bone health problems. They’re your freakin’ bones.) These are some common foods with the highest levels of Vitamin D in them.
- Fatty Fish like Salmon and Tuna
- Egg Yolks
- Beef Liver
Obviously you’re not going to be ordering a half-dozen oysters a couple times a week, but adding mushrooms to your pizza or burger, or replacing grilled chicken with grilled tuna, is a great way to up your Vitamin D intake from the low levels it’s currently at. Plus eggs are the easiest things in the world to eat.
Vitamin D Supplements
Though diet is a great source of Vitamin D it probably isn’t enough on its own for a lot of people (especially older adults). Whatever. It happens and we have to deal with it. These supplements are the most popular choices on Amazon.
You get Vitamin D from sunlight so maybe get up from your desk at work and take a little walk during your lunch break, or don’t spend your entire weekend in front of the TV. Don’t sit outside for so long that your skin turns into a quilt of leathery tumors, but get some dang sunlight. We’re not advocating for risking skin cancer here. Just for you to go outside once in a while.
Vitamin D deficiencies are more common in overweight and obese people. Losing weight will obviously help to mitigate a number of health problems, including cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. It also helps to lessen the effects of Vitamin D deficiency.
Talk To Your Doctor
If you believe you’re Vitamin D deficient your doctor or health care provider will probably be able to offer a solution in the form of a prescription as well.
So go on and get yourself some D. It’ll make you feel better. (Seriously, it will.)