vitamin d

Load up on the sunshine vitamin, even in the winter!

We’ve all heard that as Canadians, we aren’t getting enough vitamin D since our brisk (to put it lightly) winters tend to keep us indoors and covered up. So how much do we actually need, and where can we get it in our foods? We spoke with Caroline Mackey, CNP, PTS, a nutrition and fitness coach with Darou Wellness, to shed some light on our daily vitamin D requirements.

What is our daily requirement of vitamin D?

For adult women, “A good baseline would be between 600 and 1000IU per day, however there’s been recent research showing that even 2000 and 4000IU per day could be quite beneficial,” explains Mackey. “Because of where we live, anyone in Canada could potentially benefit from more than 1000IU per day in the winter months,” she continues. Since the recommended daily dosage is between 600 and 1000IU per day, it's important to note that any intake exceeding the 1000IU mark should only be done after bloodwork and consultation with your healthcare professional.

How do we get vitamin D from the sun?

In order for our bodies to produce vitamin D, we need 15 to 20 minutes of direct sun exposure—which includes our arms and legs. The key: “It needs to be without sunscreen—you need UVB rays in order to make vitamin D through your skin, and that’s blocked when you wear sunscreen. The majority of people can withstand 15 to 20 minutes of being outside without sun protection, but that does depend on your own skin type and skin concerns,” explains Mackey.