The winter rains have finally subsided here in beautiful San Diego and I personally couldn’t be more excited to get outdoors and take advantage of this perfect weather. As a Florida native, I am use to year round sunshine so when I am not getting at least 15 minutes of Vitamin D from the sun each day, my mood is greatly affected. Vitamin D carries many health benefits and is absolutely critical to personal health, yet as a society we are extremely deficient. We need adequate amounts of Vitamin D to support bone and tooth health, bone growth, mental health, immune system function, sex hormone support needed for reproduction and more. Vitamin D has also been found to support weight loss, lower blood pressure and help fight off disease. Our bodies are designed to produce Vitamin D naturally when it is exposed to direct sunlight so it is super important to get outdoors this spring season. If you have fair skin, start with 10 minutes per day of midday, pre-sunscreen sun. Start from there and work your way up to 15-20 minutes or beyond. The darker your skin, the more time you may need to generate Vitamin D. You don’t have to spend much time in the sun to receive all the benefits, however full exposure is needed. Therefore, limited clothing is best. Also remember that sunscreen blocks your ability to absorb Vitamin D from the sun. It is important to be mindful of your time spent in direct sunlight and to move to the shade when needed, wear protective clothing and/or apply non-toxic sunscreen once your designated time is up. You can also supplement with Vitamin D through over the counter supplements (high quality Vitamin D3) as well as through your food. Foods high in Vitamin D include wild-caught salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, pastured egg yolks, pastured pork, duck eggs and beef liver. Now that you have learned about the health benefits of Vitamin D, it is time to get outside and soak up that sunshine! Take your family on a hike, have a picnic in the park, do some gardening, visit the beach, and have some fun in the sun, all while supporting your body and mind with the benefits of Vitamin D!