Sunshine Vitamin: The Health Benefits of Vitamin D

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Sunshine Vitamin: The Health Benefits of Vitamin D

As we all know, vitamins are essential for our overall well-being. Some of them are water-soluble, others are fat-soluble.

One of the vitamins from the sun and fat-soluble vitamins that you should not miss out on is Vitamin D, also known as the “Sunshine Vitamin.” By getting enough Vitamin D, you can improve your mood, boost your immune system, enhance the quality of your bones, and decrease your risk of numerous diseases.

The best way to get this Vitamin is from sunlight, which can also be found in certain foods and dietary supplements.

In this blog, we will explore the various benefits of Vitamin D and how to add it to your daily routine.

Vitamin D Improves Your Mood

One of the most crucial roles of Vitamin D is improving your mood. Research has shown that people with low Vitamin D levels tend to have more melancholic moods than those with adequate amounts.

Vitamin D influences the production of serotonin, a hormone that impacts mood regulation. By increasing your exposure to the sun or taking vitamin D supplements often, you can boost the production of serotonin in your body, lifting your mood.

Boosts Your Immune System

Vitamin D also plays a crucial role in enhancing your immune system by fighting off infections and diseases. Studies have revealed that Vitamin D helps in reducing the frequency of infections and decreasing the severity of the symptoms.

Additionally, it also boosts the production of antimicrobial peptides, which are essential in killing viruses and bacteria.

Enhances Bone Health

Vitamin D aids the body in absorbing calcium and helps in strengthening bones. A deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to poor bone health, including osteoporosis and rickets. Enough of this Vitamin in your system ensures your bones stay healthy and strong.

Decreases Risk of Numerous Diseases

Low levels of Vitamin D have been linked to various diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. Several studies have shown that people with higher Vitamin D levels have a lower risk of developing such conditions.

By ensuring that your body gets enough Vitamin D, you can lower your risk of these diseases and support your overall health.

How to Get Enough Vitamin D

There are various ways to get enough Vitamin D. Exposing yourself to the sun for a few minutes daily is the best natural way to obtain it.

However, it can also be found in various foods, including fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified foods such as milk, cereal, and orange juice. If you cannot get enough Vitamin D through these sources, taking supplements is another option. However, make sure to consult your doctor before starting on supplements.

How your body makes vitamin D

Your body’s process of making Vitamin D is quite fascinating! When your skin is exposed to sunlight, specifically the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, it triggers the body to produce Vitamin D3. This Vitamin D3 is then transported to the liver and kidneys, where it’s transformed into its active form, which is essential for our overall health.

Vitamin D plays a significant role in our bodies. It helps absorb calcium from our diet, strengthening bones and teeth. It also supports muscle function and overall health. So, next time you’re out in the sun, remember you’re doing your body a favor!

But remember, while sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D, it’s crucial to balance sun exposure with skin protection to prevent skin damage. During months when sunshine is less available, consider foods rich in Vitamin D or supplements as recommended by a healthcare professional.

What are the 14 signs of vitamin D deficiency?

  1. Fatigue: Feeling tired all the time? Your body might be lacking vitamin D.
  2. Poor Sleep: Trouble sleeping well can indicate vitamin D deficiency.
  3. Bone Pain or Achiness: Are your bones constantly aching? It could be due to low vitamin D levels.
  4. Depression or Feelings of Sadness: Mood swings or persistent low mood can indicate a deficiency.
  5. Hair Loss: Unexpected hair loss may be linked to low vitamin D levels.
  6. Muscle Weakness: If you’re feeling weak, especially in your muscles, check your vitamin D levels.
  7. Loss of Bone Density: This could lead to conditions like osteoporosis.
  8. Cognitive Function Reduced: Vitamin D plays a role in maintaining brain health.
  9. Binge Eating or Overeating: Craving more food than usual? It might be a sign.
  10. Incorrect Growth Patterns: In children, bowed or bent bones can indicate deficiency.
  11. Tingly Sensation in Hands or Feet: This unusual symptom can be caused by low vitamin D.
  12. Chronic Muscle Pain: Persistent muscle pain is another potential sign.
  13. Constant Back Aches: Regular back pain might be connected to low vitamin D.
  14. Tooth Decay: Yes, even your oral health can be affected!

Remember, if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide guidance and recommend a vitamin D test.

Should everyone get their vitamin D levels checked?

Whether everyone should get their vitamin D levels checked is complex. According to health experts, routine vitamin D testing is only generally recommended for some people. However, certain groups may benefit from testing. These include individuals with a gastrointestinal disease, thin bones, or chronic conditions that could affect vitamin D absorption.

It’s also important to note that the most accurate way to measure the amount of Vitamin D in your body is through the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test. However, experts suggest that routine screening is only necessary if you fall into a high-risk group or exhibit symptoms of deficiency.

Ultimately, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if vitamin D testing is appropriate for you.

What does vitamin D do for your body?

Vitamin D plays several crucial roles in maintaining your health:

  • Boosts Bone Health: It aids in absorbing calcium, essential for strong and healthy bones.
  • Strengthens Immunity: Did you know it’s crucial to keeping your immune system strong and resilient?
  • Supports Mental Health: Feeling down? Vitamin D has been linked to mood regulation and warding off depression.
  • Promotes Heart Health: Your heart also benefits from vitamin D, as it helps regulate blood pressure.

Remember, a balanced diet and a bit of sunshine can help maintain adequate vitamin D levels.

How long do you need to be in the sun for vitamin D?

Based on various health sources, you need about 10 to 30 minutes of midday sun exposure, at least twice a week, to the face, arms, legs, or back, without sunscreen to synthesize enough vitamin D.

However, this and sun protection can vary depending on your location, skin type, time of year, and more. Always remember to balance sun exposure with skin cancer prevention.

Can I get too much vitamin D from the sun?

No, you cannot get too much vitamin D from the sun. Your body self-regulates its vitamin D intake and production from sunlight and won’t produce an excessive amount.

However, remember that prolonged sun exposure can lead to skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. So, balance is critical – enjoy the sunshine, but don’t forget to protect your skin.

How can I increase my vitamin D levels quickly? 7 Tips

  1. Sunlight Exposure: Spend 5-30 minutes in the midday sun at least twice a week. Your skin will produce vitamin D naturally when exposed to UVB rays.
  2. Eat Vitamin D-Rich Foods: Incorporate fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), fortified dairy products, egg yolks, and beef liver into your diet.
  3. Try Fortified Foods and Drinks: Some foods and beverages, like orange juice, certain cereals, and plant-based milk, have added vitamin D.
  4. Include Mushrooms in Your Diet: Some mushrooms can provide reasonable amounts of vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.
  5. Take Supplements: If it’s challenging to get enough vitamin D from sun exposure and food, consider taking a supplement. Always consult with your doctor first.
  6. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being overweight or obese can affect your body’s vitamin D absorption.
  7. Stop Smoking and Limit Alcohol Consumption: Both habits can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb this vital nutrient.

Remember, maintaining optimal vitamin D levels is crucial for overall bone health, immune function, and mental health.

Is it better to take vitamin D from the sun or supplement?

The sun is a fantastic natural source of vitamin D. Just a few minutes of midday sun exposure can set you on the right path to meeting your daily requirements. Isn’t it wonderful how nature has provided such a simple solution?

However, depending on where you live, the time of year, and your lifestyle, getting enough sunshine might be a challenge. Are you finding it difficult to soak up the sun regularly? If so, supplements can be an excellent alternative to ensure you take advantage of this essential nutrient.

Remember, whether you choose sunlight or supplements, the important thing is maintaining healthy vitamin D levels for your overall well-being. Have you checked your blood vitamin D levels recently?

How do you get vitamin D3 from the sun?

To get sufficient vitamin D3 from the sun, expose your skin to sunlight for 10-30 minutes between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at least twice a week.

This exposure allows your skin to produce sufficient vitamin D-3 naturally. However, the time needed can vary based on location, skin type, and the season. Always protect your skin if you plan to be outside for extended periods to prevent skin damage.

Can you get vitamin D through clothes?

Clothing can significantly limit your skin’s ability to produce vitamin D. Most types of clothing, including light shirts, block the sun’s UVB rays that trigger and boost vitamin D production in the skin.

So, for optimal vitamin D synthesis, it’s best to expose bare skin to sunlight.

Is morning sunlight rich in vitamin D?

Yes, morning sunlight is rich in Vitamin D. The early morning sun, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., is especially beneficial for vitamin D production.

Spending 10-30 minutes in the morning sun a few times a week helps maintain healthy vitamin D levels. However, remember that the exact time in the sun needed can vary depending on your location, skin type, and the season.


Vitamin D is crucial for our well-being due to its various health benefits. It enhances our mood, boosts our immune system, improves our bone health, and decreases the risk of multiple diseases.

If you find it challenging to get enough Vitamin D through natural sources, there are numerous supplements available in stores or online that can support your body’s needs. Please don’t neglect the Sunshine Vitamin, and add it to your daily routine for optimal health!

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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