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5 Ways to Get More Vitamin D

Two kids ride a bicycle, a box of coffee pods, and a can of seltzer water
Banana Boat/VitaCup/Humm

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that helps you build and maintain strong bones and a healthy immune system. Unfortunately, many of us are actually vitamin D deficient. If that’s you, here are five ways you can boost your intake of this necessary and helpful vitamin.

Our major source of vitamin D is the sun, but during winter, it’s more difficult to get outside and get enough of it. Here are a few ways you can boost your vitamin D intake year-round, but especially when it’s cold outside.

Go Outside

Two people hiking and two people surfing
Banana Boat

One of the easiest and most accessible ways to get vitamin D is to head outside. When ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from sunlight hit our skin, our bodies produce this vitamin naturally. However, getting plenty of sunshine isn’t always possible, especially in the winter.

The farther you live from the Equator, the less likely you’ll be to access UVB sunlight during the winter months. People who live in the northern United States, for example, will be able to produce very little vitamin D from sunlight November-February. If that’s the case, you’ll need to supplement in other ways.

Whether you live in a sunny climate or not, you should always wear sunscreen outside. It blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and there’s also currently no clinical evidence to suggest that regularly applying sunscreen leads to lower vitamin D levels.

This might be because no sunscreen blocks 100% of UVB rays, so you’re still able to create some vitamin D, even if you’re slathered in SPF 50. Wearing sunscreen also helps prevent skin cancer and early signs of aging. This affordable spray sunscreen goes on smoothly and will protect you whenever you’re outside.

Banana Boat Sport Ultra Sunscreen

Affordable protectection from harmful UV rays.

Take a Supplement

A bottle of a vitamin D supplement
Nature Made

We know, this is an easy answer, but second only to sunlight, the simplest way to ensure you don’t become vitamin D deficient is to take a daily supplement. It’s recommended that people aged 1-70 years old get 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D each day.

Vitamin D is fat-soluble, which means it dissolves in fat and is stored in your body’s tissue. Extra amounts of fat-soluble vitamins aren’t flushed out of your system, so it’s easy to take too much. Scientists are unsure what the ideal daily intake is for an adult, but it’s recommended you do not take a daily supplement of more than 4,000 IU per serving.

There are two forms of vitamin D: D2 and D3. This Nature Made supplement contains vitamin D3, which is the kind that your body produces from sunlight. Each capsule contains 2,000 IUs of vitamin D.

Warning: You should always consult your physician before taking any supplements, particularly if you’re taking any other medications or dealing with any pre-existing health conditions.

Choose Your Foods Wisely

Fish, cheese, milk, eggs, and other foods rich in vitamin D on a counter.
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

There are a few foods that also naturally contain vitamin D. It’s most prevalent in fatty fish, like salmon, swordfish, and tuna. Cod liver oil, which can also be purchased as a supplement, is also high in vitamin D and other minerals. It’s surprisingly tasty and easy to take in liquid form.

Nordic Naturals Unflavored Arctic Cod Liver Oil, 8 oz.

Packed with vitamins and minerals (including vitamin D).

Egg yolks, cheese, and beef liver also contain small amounts of vitamin D, although not enough for you to get your daily recommended intake from these foods alone. Many foods are fortified with vitamin D, which can be another great way to supplement your diet. It’s common to see orange juice, milk, and cereals with this vitamin added to them, as well.

Upgrade Your Water 

A can of seltzer water and bottles of flavored water

If taking a supplement or catering your grocery list to getting in enough vitamins is too much work, there are still plenty of other convenient ways to get more vitamin D. Milk, juice, and many other drinks are fortified with vitamins to help you reach your vitamin goals.

For a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up, try Humm Sparkling Probiotic Seltzer. Each can contains zero sugar or calories but tastes like a flavorful kombucha. It also has probiotics, and vitamins C, D, and B12.

Humm Sparking Probiotic Peach Seltzer

Tasty and helps with gut health and increases vitamin D.

If sparkling isn’t your style, try a flavored still water. Shine Water is a great option that also contains zero sugar in each bottle, but is surprisingly flavorful. Each bottle is enhanced with vitamin D, electrolytes, and other vitamins and minerals.


Enhanced with vitamin D and electrolytes.

Switch Out Your Coffee

A package of coffee pods

If flavored water isn’t really your thing and you can’t survive without your morning cup of coffee, there’s a vitamin D product for you, too!

VitaCup USDA Organic Genius Keto Coffee Pods ensure that you get your daily recommended intake of vitamin D first thing in the morning. They’re also keto-friendly and contain other nutrients, like turmeric, B vitamins, and MCT oil.

VitaCup USDA Organic Genius Keto Coffee Pods

Contains vitamin D, MCT oil, turmeric, and other vitamins.

Most of us are running low on vitamin D. Luckily, all you have to do to change that is head outside and get some sun! If that’s not enough, though, incorporating any of these other easy options will significantly boost your intake of this important vitamin.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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