8 ways to get your vitamin D (without risking skin cancer)

We all know that vitamin D is pretty essential to our health. It helps our memory function, our immunity and can even improve your mood. But what we also know is that the main source of vitamin D is sunlight. So if you are concerned about melanoma or skin cancer, you have probably been doing all you can to avoid the sun. What about vitamin D? Are you settling for a life of depression or rickets? What is the lesser of two evils?

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The fact is that you really don’t have to choose. There are many sources of vitamin D that don’t involve lying in the sun all day, topping up your tan. Some of them might even be delicious and fun.

Get some sun!

Yes, sunlight is not completely out of the question. In fact, a study showed that 20 minutes of direct sunlight every day is healthy. This will give you a natural dose of Vitamin D.

Supplements

This is by far the easiest way to ensure you meet your daily needs of vitamin D and is a great idea in the winter, even for those of us who do get sunlight in the Summer months. The dosage can vary and depends on your diet, your sun exposure and the time of the year. A nutritionist will be able to recommend a good dose to boost and maintain your levels.

Cod liver oil

One of the richest sources of vitamin D found in nature. In fact, one tablespoon will give you twice the daily recommended dose of vitamin D. Mix it into your morning smoothie or just swallow it down the way your Mum used to make you. (she knew what she was doing!)

Fish – the fatty kind

Those essential fatty acids are good for more than just keeping your skin in good shape and aiding weight loss and heart health – these fish also contain high quantities of vitamin D. In fact, one good-sized serving will meet your daily RDA – not bad.

Canned fish

If you aren’t a fan of fresh fish, a simple can of tuna for your lunch will give you around 1/3 of your daily Vitamin D intake, plus it is a lot cheaper. Turn your tuna into a salad with plenty of green salad veg and you have an even better chance of meeting your daily requirements.

Fortification

In some parts of the world (the US), milk is fortified with vitamin D, however not everywhere. If you drink soya or almond milk you may also find it has extra vitamin D added. Many kinds of cereal, yogurt, drinks, and even some waters have added vitamin D – but watch out for those added sugars in these products.

Eggs

As one of nature’s superfoods, eggs have a multitude of good things – vitamin D being one of them. But you need to eat the whole egg – including the yolk. None of these tasteless egg white omelets!

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Liver of the beef variety

Not to everyone’s tastes, but if you like it simply fried or even made into a pate, liver is a great source of many vitamins, including a good portion of your vitamin D.

If you want to avoid sun exposure or skin cancer, these sources of vitamin D will help you meet your requirements without damaging your skin in the process. It certainly makes sense.

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