More than two-thirds of the population in the United States and Europe are Vitamin D deficient. Meaning, the majority of us are more likely to die from certain illnesses, like heart disease and cancer, from Vitamin D deficiency, according to two recent studies published in BMJ. 

Researchers from both studies showed a correlation between low levels of Vitamin D and an increase death risk for a host of illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and hypertension. However, the research does not pinpoint low levels of the “sunshine” vitamin as the sole reason for increase death risks, but the studies “suggests strongly that blood levels of vitamin D are a good barometer of overall health.”

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So, while the research doesn’t necessary state that low levels of the vitamin are a cause for illness death risks, increasing your Vitamin D intake won’t hurt. One of the best ways to get your Vitamin D intake (naturally) is by going outside and soaking up the sun. Letting the rays shine on you mid-day is best, for at least 10 to 15 minutes. However, adequate diet plays into effect too.

Many animal and animal byproducts, including fish and eggs, contain Vitamin D. But, there are several plant-based foods that provide just as much of the vitamin. They include kale, mushrooms, and fortified soy products, such as tofu or soy milk.

Get inspired to up your Vitamin D intake with these sunshine recipes:

 1. Vegan Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto

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