There is nothing like lying outside, letting our skin absorb the light of the sun until we are warmed all the way to the bone. Beyond the obvious benefits of pure photonic energy and glowing skin, exposure to sunlight can give us one of the most important nutrients vitamin D. But sun exposure alone may not be enough to give us all the vitamin D we need.

Vitamin D is absolutely crucial for human health. We need it to absorb the calcium that builds our bones. It plays a key role in the creation and growth of every cell. Vitamin D is required for neuromuscular function (how our mental impulses translate into physical motion). It is also required for proper functioning of the immune system.

Deficiencies of vitamin D can cause sever weakness and pain in the muscles. In children it can lead to rickets, a serious condition characterized by skeletal deformities. In the elderly, inadequate vitamin D contributes to osteoporosis and soft bones.

Getting insufficient vitamin D weakens the immune system, increases inflammation, and contributes to the development of several types of cancer.

Unfortunately, most people are at least a little vitamin D deficient. Our primarily indoor lifestyles shut us off from the nourishing rays of the sun. It is also challenging to get enough of the necessary UVB rays even when we are outside because of pollution, clouds, and particulate matter (like chemtrails) that block sunlight.

And its hard to get adequate exposure in the far north and far south latitudes even if the sky is clear, because of the indirect angle of the sun in those places.

Fair skinned people in equatorial regions may be able to get enough exposure to produce adequate vitamin D if they stand in direct sunlight with no sunscreen for at least 15 minutes a day, a few days a week, between 10a.m. and 3p.m. It requires vigilance to be in the sun just long enough to get sufficient UVB rays, but not so long that you burn.

People with darker skin require significantly more time in the sun to absorb enough UVB rays, but then are put at greater risk for developing skin cancer.

Other Ways to Get Vitamin D

Vitamin D is found in very few food sources, and only in microscopic amounts in plant foods. Cod liver oil and wild salmon are the highest food sources. The highest vegan source of vitamin D is mushrooms that have been exposed to UV radiation or cultivated outside. As we do not recommend eating animal products, your best bet is to supplement.

Get a high-quality vitamin D supplement that comes in an oil base. Vitamin D is fat-soluble, which means it needs to be taken with fat to be absorbed by the body. If your vitamin D supplement is not suspended in oil, then take it with a healthy fat such as avocado or a little extra virgin coconut oil.

I love spending time outside, absorbing the warmth and light of the sun. But even with my active outdoor lifestyle, I know that I may not be getting enough of this essential nutrient. Since I only eat living foods and avoid the fish that is the only substantial dietary source of vitamin D, I supplement.

Taking a high-quality vitamin D supplement can be a helpful way to ensure you are getting enough of this vital ingredient for health. If you are concerned about your vitamin D levels, talk to your health care provider about having your levels tested. And its a good idea to speak with your doctor before beginning to take any new supplements.