Vitamin D, Foods, and Sun Safety Tips in the Summer versus Winter Months

Vitamin D sources infographicVitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced in your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight. However, there are times when this is not advisable or even possible.

If you have very fair skin and are susceptible to sunburn, you will need to protect yourself from exposure through sun screens and clothing that protects your skin area.

In addition, in winter months the angle of the sun’s rays are not direct enough to cause the reaction that creates Vitamin D. For this reason, it is important to add foods with vitamin D in them:

  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms (especially Shiitake)

To attain enough vitamin D, it is helpful to get a healthy amount of exposure to the sun. But the advice changes from summer to winter months.

Summer Months

If you are planning to be outside for many hours in a day, give yourself the first 10 minutes of sun exposure on your skin before applying sunscreen. This will allow it to produce vitamin D before blocking exposure by applying sunscreen.

 

Winter Months

During the winter months when the day lengths are shortest, your skin is not able to make vitamin D from sun exposure. Once the season moves into spring, try to give yourself at least 10 minutes outside with either your face or hands being exposed. Do this when the sun is highest, between 11am and 1pm.