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How to Get Vitamin D Without Going Outside

Vitamin D doesn’t get enough love.

The vitamin, which we get mostly from sunlight, promotes bone-building calcium and even helps prevent autoimmune diseases and cancer. But with the nights getting longer it’ll be more difficult to get your daily recommended dose of Vitamin D. Here are a few ways you can make up for that loss without having to step outside.

Consume Foods and Liquids High in Vitamin D

Basking in a little bit of sunlight is by and large the easiest way to get your dose of Vitamin D, but it isn’t the only way — you can get the essential nutrient through your diet, too. Fish — especially salmon, tuna, halibut, and cod — are packed with Vitamin D.

You can also find the vitamin in cheese and egg yolks, though at a smaller amount. Some foods and drinks are fortified with Vitamin D, most notably milk and orange juice. If you’re not sure which foods and drinks to pick up at the store, you can get a good look at how much Vitamin D they contain by checking out their nutritional labels.

Take a Supplement

We can’t always fit proper foods into our diet, which is why supplements exist. If you find that your daily dose of Vitamin D is on the low side, you can try using a daily supplement to compensate for the loss. Usually, these supplements come in the form of a pill like a multivitamin or a dedicated Vitamin D tablet. Although in most cases taking a Vitamin D pill is better than nothing at all, there still are some risks.

Firstly, the amount you get from a supplement can be too little, leading to little effect, or it can be too much, causing toxicity and a possible visit to the doctor’s office. Also, sticking to a supplement, rather than finding Vitamin D in natural sources, makes you miss out on all the other vitamins found in these foods.

Bask in Artificial Light

If you can’t get out to the sun, make the sun come to you. Or, at least, use an artificial light to trick your body into thinking it's getting sunlight. Each winter season, many people make use of a UV light lamp to help boost their body’s Vitamin D production. These lamps come in all shapes and sizes, but the most popular models are portable and sit on a desk, making it easy for the user to work while getting light. Although these lights are still catching on, studies so far show positive results for patients, including higher Vitamin D levels and increased happiness. Make sure you do your research before sitting by a UV lamp, however, as prolonged exposure can lead to skin cancer.

A healthy and managed diet, complete with whole foods and supplements if necessary, can do a lot to get you your daily amount of vitamins. Still, if you’re in an area that doesn’t appear to get a lot of sun during the winter, it’s still worth it to spend a little time outside. UV rays from the sun can still peek through the clouds, carrying that all-too-important Vitamin D.

[Image via Getty]

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