When short days rule the winter months, it’s hard to get the recommended amount of vitamin D on a daily basis. Vitamin D is made naturally in the body when your skin is exposed to UV light, but one-third of the U.S. population suffers from low levels of this vital nutrient. Winter weather only exacerbates the problem as we go indoors to seek refuge from the cold, and even when we do venture outside, we cover the majority of our skin to protect it from the freezing temperatures. Vitamin D plays an important role in mood regulation, so vitamin D deficiency is one of the primary reasons people report having the winter blues.
If you can’t catch some winter rays, you can try adding foods to your diet that are naturally rich in vitamin D.
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, and tuna
- Egg yolks
- Beef liver
- Cod liver oil
- Portabello mushrooms
- Dairy products, such as cheese and butter
If you’re not jumping through hoops to eat beef liver though, many foods are fortified with vitamin D. The most common ones are milk, orange juice, and many cereals.
Vitamin D isn’t just important for keeping you happy in the winter—it also plays a role in keeping your skin happy too. Having sufficient vitamin D in the skin helps minimize acne, boost elasticity, increase production of collagen, and lessen fine lines and the appearance of dark spots. In fact, many beauty products are starting to contain their own doses of vitamin D to help enhance your skin’s radiance which is a great way to keep skin from looking sallow in the winter. It’s important to note though that these skincare products do not increase vitamin D levels in the body, so it’s still key to supplement vitamin D in your diet.