Vitamin D is a nutrient our body needs for a variety of reasons ranging from bone and brain health to immunity. How much Vitamin D do we need? Dr. Seema Sarin of EHE Health explains that the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin D for children 1-18 through adults through age 70 is 600 International Units, or 15 micrograms (mcg), daily. After age 71, 800 International Units, or 20 mcg, are needed.
One way that our body produces enough Vitamin D to sustain itself is when the skin is directly exposed to the sun. Under normal circumstances, it is likely you are getting at least some of your Vitamin D this way, but during the winter months —or if you are cooped up indoors for another reason—you might be running a Vitamin D deficiency. Luckily, this is just one of the many ways to get your daily dose. “When you can’t get outside for some sunshine, there are many ways to get some Vitamin D,” Dr. Sarin points out. From foods and supplements to light lamps, here are all the expert recommended ways to amp up your Vitamin D intake that don’t involve going outside.
When you can’t get outside for some sunshine, there are many ways to get some Vitamin D.
Sit by Your Window
Nutritionist and yoga instructor, Keri Gans suggests trying to sit by an open window for a little while. “Besides getting some vitamin D it may also help boost your mood a little,” she points out.
Take a Supplement
Sure, there are lots of Vitamin D supplements out there. But considering you may be cooped up at home for a while and likely not eating as much fresh produce as usual, you should consider taking a high quality multi-vitamin. We are fans of Ritual, a one-per-day capsule formulated for women by age, that simplifies the vitamin-taking process and is even essenced with mint to make the act of gulping down your pill a little more palatable.
Try a Light Therapy Lamp
If you can’t get natural light, artificial is the next best thing. “For those who can’t get outside, and especially those inside apartments that may not get much natural light, a therapy lamp is a great way to increase your light exposure,” Sara Skirboll, Shopping & Trends Expert at RetailMeNot. “In many cases these lamps can help improve mood and regulate your circadian rhythm.”
Eat Your Eggs
Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, suggests cooking up some eggs for a little added Vitamin D, but notes that the nutrient is “in the yolks,” so egg whites won't cut it this time around.
Make the Most of Mushrooms
“Mushrooms are the only source of vitamin D in the produce section,” reveals Newgent. For the most Vitamin D action, she suggests choosing those that have been exposed to UV light by the growers. Or, for a fun and healthy indoor activity, you can even grow your own maitakes (also known as hen of the woods mushrooms). If you really want an extra dose, make a mushroom omelet, to add additional Vitamin D from the eggs.
Or, Try Beef Liver
Beef liver might not be the most appetizing cut of meat, but, according to the NIH it is one of the few foods that offer even a small amount of Vitamin D.
National Institute of Health. "What Is Vitamin D and What Does It Do?" March 24, 2020