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Nutrient Needs & Sources

Staying in more often? Good for COVID19, maybe not so great for Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is a critical nutrient and hormone involved in numerous functions throughout the body.

Vitamin D deficiency is VERY common.

Truth be told, many folks already struggle to get sufficient ☀️ exposure to meet their Vitamin D needs, and there’s a number of other factors that can impact how effectively our bodies are able to synthesize it from sunlight (clothing, sunblock, ethnicity, age...), so we must make up for this through diet.

Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of great natural food sources either, and we largely rely on fortified foods to make up most of the Vitamin D in our diet.


Vitamin D's Role

  • Strong bones and teeth require vitamin D to absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus

  • Muscles need it to move

  • The immune system needs it to help fight off invading bacteria and viruses

  • Helps reduce inflammation in the body


Vitamin D Needs

  • Birth-12 Months: 400 IU/day (10 mcg/day)

  • Children-70 Years: 600 IU/day (15 mcg/day)

  • Adults 71+ Years: 800 IU/day (20 mcg/day)

*IU = International Units


Vitamin D Sources

The best source of Vitamin D is the sun. During quarantine, sufficient sun exposure may be difficult for many people to achieve.

  • If possible, aim to get outside for 10-30 minutes of midday sunlight (between 11AM to 3PM), several times per week

Fortified foods provide most of the Vitamin D in our diets as few foods naturally contain Vitamin D

  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna) are the best sources

  • Beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and mushrooms provide some

  • Fortified milk and plant-based milk alternatives are good sources

  • Vitamin D is also added to many breakfast cereals, orange juice, yogurt, and margarine


Supplementing Vitamin D

Certain individuals may benefit from Vitamin D supplementation.

Work with your health care provider or a Registered Dietitian to determine if supplementation is appropriate for you.

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