If you're wondering why it's so important, just remember that vitamin D was first recognized for its importance in maintaining healthy calcium levels for our bones. According to Dr. Lipman, it's now becoming increasingly apparent that we've underestimated the value of the vitamin, and a lack of it has been associated with obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and breast cancer — to name a few.
Since we rely on the sun to generate the most reliable way of getting vitamin D, it's a good idea to up your intake of foods that can naturally deliver the goods — try fortified milk in your cereal, dried shitake mushrooms with your stir fry or salad, and wild fatty fish, like salmon and halibut. Just be aware that only 10 percent of your vitamin D intake can come from food, so to really eat smarter and healthier, it might just be a good idea to supplement with the active form of the vitamin, D3. Be sure to read all of Dr. Lipman's great tips, and until we see some sunlight this Spring, make sure you're getting your daily dose with fortified foods.