If you live in sunny California, you might feel that there’s no way you could be dealing with a vitamin D deficiency. Alas, when you look back on our 2020, you’ll notice that many people have spent the majority of their time indoors, and even without the lockdown, too many people still don’t get enough sun or food-based sources of this vital micronutrient.
We already know that getting enough different vitamins and minerals is crucial for building up your immune strength, but vitamin D has been shown to play a key role in diminishing COVID-19 symptoms and their severity.
Add to that, having a balanced micronutrient intake, with vitamin D in the mix, means you reduce your chances to get the infection to begin with. So, here are a few tips to help you get more vitamin D, prevent or treat that deficiency and stay resilient while the pandemic is still with us.
Add the right foods to your menu
Vitamin D is very hard to come by in food, but that is precisely why you should consider adding some of the following items on your daily menu, to make sure you get as much as possible:
- Fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, and salmon
- Cod liver oil
- Eggs (but with the yolk)
- Cheese and certain types of yogurt
- Beef liver
- Oysters and shrimp
Balance with supplementation
For everyone, but especially for people living in cooler and darker regions, and those who cannot safely get enough sun exposure, supplementing your diet with vitamin D can be extremely helpful. It’s a safe way to consume enough of this vital micronutrient to protect your immune system, and with your doctor’s guidance, you can elevate it if you’re at risk of COVID-19. It helps you eliminate any guesswork from your diet, if you don’t have any inherent issues with nutrient absorption – which we’ll talk about shortly.
Safe sunlight exposure
For the lucky people of California, getting enough daylight is certainly not a problem! There is, however, a potential issue with too much sun exposure, so you need to strike that fine balance. Make sure that you spend enough time in the sun, but also remember that you don’t need more than 10 or 15 minutes to get enough of vitamin D. Choose times of day when it’s safer to be in sunlight, such as in the morning and in the later afternoon – and remember to wear sunscreen!
Go for fortified foods
Since very few foods contain enough vitamin D to give you your daily dose, you can also opt for fortified foods that amp up your nutrient intake. Even though it’s hard to come by, some food brands are doing their best to add more nutrient value to their products – just make sure to check the label and see what you’re dealing with.
Typical foods that can be fortified are cereal, cow’s milk, plant-based milk options, tofu, and different types of yogurt. This is a good way to boost your everyday menu, especially during the pandemic and when you want to keep your immune system good and strong!
Check for nutrient absorption issues
Many people do their best to create a balanced food intake on a daily basis, and they still experience issues with their health. You might get sick frequently or the symptoms for any viral infection are amplified in your case, but to treat the consequence wouldn’t improve your quality of life for the long haul. The goal is to find the root cause, and with the help of functional medicine, you can do just that.
Some people who consume plenty of diverse foods and still have trouble with their immune system could be dealing with an issue with nutrient absorption. Maybe your gut health isn’t up to par, or you have an underlying condition that’s making it more difficult for your body to process nutrients. Perhaps this is the right moment to make an appointment with us, and we’ll make sure to create the right plan to get your health back on track!