(NaturalNews) Vitamin D has come to the forefront recently as a hugely important vitamin for the human body. This makes it that much more urgent that we follow some simple steps to ensure our bodies are absorbing enough of this pivotal nutrient. Since most Americans are grossly deficient in vitamin D, it is important to spread the word about how to most effectively build your blood levels up.
The first and perhaps most obvious tip for better vitamin D absorption is to make sure you are getting enough UV (sun) exposure. Ideally, everyone would get about 15 minutes of UV exposure every day, exposing most of the body. However, this is not practical since most of us don't live in sunny locations year round.
UVB exposure, as opposed to UVA, is the only spectrum of UV light which facilitates vitamin D production. Sun exposure has long been vilified by the media and medical community as unhealthy. However, there is a reason that our skin tans. We were meant to be exposed to the sunlight, and our skin is equipped to handle some exposure, although some people do have better defenses against burning.
Even indoor tanning beds may have their proper use when it comes to therapeutic vitamin D exposure. Indoor tanning beds that emit more UVB rays may be of use for those that are indoors most of the time for long winters.
It is important that one not over expose themselves to both the natural sunlight and the rays of an indoor tanning bed. You should never let the skin get anything more than the slightest pink tint, and use your ethnicity and past experience to gauge your UV sensitivity.
If you burn easily, consider supplementing your diet with lycopene, a key nutrient that is found in heavy concentration in tomatoes. Studies recently showed that those with high levels of lycopene had a much higher "internal sunscreen," and burned much less easily, than those who did not take in a lot of lycopene. In fact, antioxidants in general may give your skin an edge against UV sensitivity and cut down on burning.
After exposure to UVB rays, make sure you wait as many hours as you can before showering. Why? After UV exposure, your skin produces a powdery substance that is then absorbed into the skin and converted to vitamin D by the body. If you wash this off too early, you interfere with the amount of vitamin D made, and hence do not get the full benefit.
When exposing the skin in the summer time, it is best to expose as much of the body as possible, other than the face and arms. Your legs and torso are great for making vitamin D. So, make the most of your natural sun exposure and allow the larger parts of your body to be bare.
Now, let's talk about vitamin D supplementation. While UVB exposure is still the absolute best way to synthesize vitamin D, supplements are a secondary approach to making sure you get enough of this vitamin as well. When looking for a supplement, make sure you choose one that is encapsulated in an oil base. These oil based capsules are most likely better absorbed since vitamin D is fat soluble.
Danna Norek is the owner and primary contributor for several natural health blogs and websites, where she frequently shares her experiences and knowledge on herbal supplements, natural remedies, vitamins, and healthy lifestyle habits. You can find information on a 100% natural, chemical free deodorant here at Natural Effective Deodorant and an all natural sebum-neutralizing, SLS, paraben and chemical free Acne Soap with lavender, lemongrass and tea tree essential oils here at All Natural Acne Soap.