Where can I get Vitamin D?
1. Being outside in the sun
Sunlight, specifically UVB rays, is the best source of vitamin D. In the UK, the sunlight is most effective between late March and September. 80–90% of vitamin D is derived from skin exposure to ultraviolet B radiation from sunlight, with the remaining 10–20% being derived from dietary sources.8
Over the autumn and winter months, sunlight is too weak to allow our skin to make enough vitamin D, which is why the government advises you take a supplement during this time.
There is no prescribed amount of sun exposure to produce the right amount of vitamin D as everyone is different. However, in the UK, 10 – 15 minutes of sun exposure to your bare skin – particularly to the forearms, hands and lower legs – should help build up your stores of vitamin D (it’s fat-soluble, so can be stored in fatty tissue).
Just take care not to burn, as redness is a sign of skin damage.
>Read more on our myths about sun damage
2. Dietary sources
Few foods contain vitamin D in sufficient quantities, so it can be difficult to get enough from your diet alone.
However, you’ll find small amounts in things like:
- oily fish (e.g., herring, salmon, mackerel, and sardines),
- egg yolks
- and wild mushrooms.
It’s also added into foods such as cereals, margarine, reduced fat spreads, milk, and some almond milk products; look for ‘fortified’ on the label.
These foods should help make up part of your balanced diet.
>Try our Teriyaki Salmon Parcels recipe
You should get sufficient vitamin D by following a healthy, well-balanced diet and by getting regular sun exposure. However, the Department of Health recommends taking a daily supplement of 10 micrograms during autumn and winter months (including pregnant and breastfeeding women).9