Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M.D.
How to get vitamin D without the sun? This is a question many of us ask ourselves. Not all of us like to sunbathe, partly because some people suffer sun damage to their skin very quickly. Many of us can’t get as much sun as we would like for different reasons. Our dermatologist gives you the best tips about this vitamin here:
The best sources of vitamin D, excluding sunbathing, are foods such as fatty fish. These include wild salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Milk, eggs, and mushrooms are also rich in vitamin D. By ingesting these foods, and you will reach the recommended daily intake for an adult of 600 IU.
Vitamin D is a nutrient that everybody needs. Particularly for our bones, which need it the most. No matter how old you are, you will always need it.
It is one of the vitamins most responsible for keeping our skin alive and fresh, with a beautiful color. It is also partly responsible for keeping our bones in good condition.
It is essential to take in this vitamin and if you can’t get it from the sun, I will show you other ways to gain it.
Without vitamin D ¿what happens?
In children, it can cause rickets. Rickets is a rare disease that causes bones to become soft and bent. In adults, severe vitamin D deficiency leads to osteomalacia, which causes weak bones, bone pain, and muscle weakness.
Foods rich in vitamin D
The reality is that our body produces vitamin D, but to gain optimal levels of nutrition, it needs our help. The amount of it we get depends on many varying factors such as the season, latitude, skin pigmentation, among other things.
It is therefore likely that our body’s production may be diminishing, especially in winter. This is why food is important for the production of this vitamin.
Food helps top up our body with it, especially if we cannot spend much time in the sun.
Foods that provide it are milk, cereals, fish, eggs, among others. Here is a small list of the most excellent foods that provide it.
Cod liver oil
When we refer to foods rich in vitamin D, cod liver oil is always at the top of the list. The reality is that a tablespoon of this oil covers the recommended amount of it that you need in a day.
Cod liver oil is so beneficial that, in addition to giving us vitamin D, it gives us other things, such as vitamin A, which is fantastic for our skin.
But the best thing is that it also provides omega 3, which is increasingly essential as we age. Our body needs omega 3.
If you do not want to go out in the sun, cod liver oil is your first choice, although many people find its taste is not very pleasant.
Another fantastic food that floods us with vitamin D is bluefish. When we talk about oily fish, we refer to fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna.
These fish types are an incredible vitamin D source for the body, and they are also extremely healthy. Apart from providing a lot of it, they provide protein and an immense source of omega 3. If you are looking for a healthy lifestyle, fish is one of your best options.
Important tip: fish is an incredible source, but for the amount you need, you should try and eat it at least twice a week.
Seafood is one of the best foods to provide you with the vitamin D you require, and there is no doubt about its effectiveness, besides having great taste.
Shrimps and clams provide a good amount of it. You can eat them once a week, and you will feel fantastic. Seafood gives strength to your body.
The liver is one of the best foods that provide vitamin D. Not many people eat liver nowadays, partly because of its unusual texture.
However, it is a massive source of this component and a great source of other vitamins such as vitamin A. It is also a great source of potassium, calcium, iron, and folic acid, which are essential for our body.
Important tip: Try to include liver in your diet. You can eat it just once a week, and it will be enough for your vitamin D requirements with a balanced diet.
Dairy products are important for our body; from the day we are born, they are a source of many things we need. They are one of our most significant sources of vitamin D.
Among those dairy products that provide us with it we have milk (especially whole), cheese, yogurts, and of course butter.
Important tip: You should know that vitamin D is fat-soluble, which means we can often find it in fatty foods.
The best thing to do is to start your day with a good glass of milk. Never underestimate dairy products. They are a must in your diet.
Eggs are always high up the list when we talk about foods that give incredible benefits for our body. They contain high protein properties which are of immense value to us, and they are notable for their superb vitamin D.
But, to take advantage of the it that eggs contain, you should always eat the yolk. That is where vitamin D is concentrated. You will be wasting your time if you seek to eat only the egg whites.
Important tip: It is best to eat eggs for breakfast or dinner; never include it in your lunch.
According to studies, many people underestimate mushrooms’ incredible potential as they are superb at providing this vitamin. According to studies, it is recommended to keep them in the sun before eating them.
They have all the sun’s properties when they are harvested, including vitamin D. You can eat them in different ways and on many occasions.
Avocado is one of the best foods in our life, and they bring a lot of good things to our bodies. They are an incredible source of vitamin D.
Avocados are great for our body, as they are 70% water and help our skin look fresh. They provide us with hydration, potassium, vitamin A, and above all, vitamin D.
Recommendation: Include avocados in your meals at least 4 times a week. They are great whether you are on a diet or not, as they are healthy.
All foods of plant origin are considered rich in vitamin D, and wheat germ is particularly incredible at providing this component. It also has many other benefits.
This cereal is one of the best energy-producing foods there is because of its high protein value. It is also magnificent because it helps to strengthen our bodies defenses.
It provides us with potassium, calcium, iron, and above all, vitamin D. Without a doubt, you cannot leave it out of your life.
Important tip: wheat germ is found mainly in cereals. They are great for breakfast or snacks.
Those are the main foods where we can find the vitamin D we require. If you cannot spend time in the sun, you know that you can top up your vitamin intake with food. But for older people, it is much more important to get it for these reasons that I will explain.
You may be interested in “What foods should you eat every day?“
What is vitamin D good for?
Many people do not give importance to it, but it is critical for our body and organism as a whole. The reality that we should know is that the absence of vitamin D can generate many disorders such as:
Its absence can make you more sensitive to Coronavirus
According to several studies published, 82.2% of the people who suffer from this disease don’t consume enough vitamin D. They usually have a deficient amount of it and have not paid attention to its levels.
Its absence can lead to cancer
The absence of this vitamin can easily provoke a type of cancer. Thus, having adequate vitamin D levels helps us prevent it, and it is even more effective if it is taken with a calcium supplement.
Its absence can hasten hereditary disorders
It can hasten the disorder called hypophosphatemia. This issue is an inherited disorder related to the inability to absorb or process vitamin D adequately. It is a nasty disorder to deal with that can be preventable.
Its absence could influence our cognitive health
The prolonged absence of vitamin D could have a harmful influence on our cognitive health. There are even studies showing that in the long run, it could cause dementia in the elderly. But many of those who are rich in it maintain excellent cognitive health.
Lack of this vitamin can lead to osteomalacia
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for taking care of our bones. A deficiency of this vitamin causes the loss of our bone mineral content. We can see this disorder manifest mostly in older people; severe bone pain and muscle weakness are the main symptoms.
The absence of it can lead to psoriasis
The absence of vitamin D can easily provoke this problem. Psoriasis is one of the worst skin conditions, and sufferers will be forced to use a topical preparation containing it all their life. This is why we should consume vitamin D whenever we can.
The absence of it can lead to rickets
Rickets is not a common condition these days, but it is feasible. We can see rickets mostly in children who are vitamin D deficient. It is best to get children used to living with and taking in this vitamin from a young age to avoid these problems.
The absence of it can cause osteoporosis
This is one of the worst diseases, especially in older adults. Most studies show that people who consume high amounts of vitamin D and calcium delay the onset of osteoporosis. This disease causes severe pain and dramatically increases the risk of bone fractures.
Lack of this vitamin can lead to multiple sclerosis
This is undoubtedly one of the worst diseases that the absence of this vitamin can cause. Having adequate levels of vitamin D significantly reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis.
Fundamental note: Vitamin D is excellent for all the things I have told you about, and it lowers the risk of many diseases. But the reality is that taking it in excess is also harmful to the health of any person. Whether you are a child or an adult, everything in excess is wrong.
What happens if there is an excess of vitamin D?
Too much vitamin D can cause toxicity by causing hypercalcemia (buildup of calcium in the blood). This calcium can cause problems such as weakness, vomiting, nausea, and excessive urination. This excess can also cause kidney problems and bone pain.
If you take more than 4000 IU in a day, you may experience these symptoms:
- Confusion and disorientation.
- Weight loss.
- Lack of appetite, among other things.
This information lets us better understand that it is necessary to moderate our consumption of this vitamin.
Vitamin D deficiency is very harmful to children, adolescents, adults, and everyone, but so is using it in excess. It is best to go to a doctor if you are looking for an alternative to sunbathing and you do not feel like eating foods containing a high content.
In short, the easiest way to get the all-important vitamin D without having to sunbathe is from food. The best sources of it are foods such as milk, eggs, liver, avocado, among many others.
These foods will help prevent many problems including disorders and diseases caused by the absence of vitamin D. Finally, I want to tell you not to abuse them, over-consumption can be just as harmful.
For the research of this article, only reliable sources have been used.