8 Common Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency (Tasty Recipes Included)

Do you enjoy spending some time in the sun? If yes, we will give you some reasons to do that more often. We get vitamin D through direct exposure to sun. This vitamin is of utmost importance for numerous bodily functions. It affects your overall health and well-being.

Vitamin D strengthens your bones, teeth, skin and immunity. Unfortunately, we don’t get too much of it during winder.

Vitamin D and your body

Vitamin D is related to the absorption of calcium and phosphoris in the body. It is important for your emotional and physical health. Research has shown that this vitamin boosts your immunity and relaxes muscles.

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency

  • Weak immunity
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Back Pain
  • Bone Pain
  • Depression
  • Hair Loss
  • Muscle Pain

Natural sources of vitamin D

1. Vegetables

Potatoes are abundant in vitamin D, providing 21 IU of it. The same applies to corn. It gives you 55IU per serving. Spinach is also rich in vitamin D. It provides 42IU per serving.

2. Mushrooms

White mushrooms are often recommended to those dealing with vitamin D deficiency. An ounce of mushrooms provides 8IU of this vitamin. Shiitake and Portobello are also rich in vitamin D, providing 20IU and 384IU, respectively.

3. Oranges

A cup of oranges contains 100IU of vitamin D. Enjoy your orange juice more often.

4. Fish, eggs and meat

Need a vitamin D boost? Combine these products. An egg yolk contains about 40IU of vitamin E. A 3.5 oz of beef liver gives you 50IU of vitamin D. When it comes to fish and fish products, a teaspoon of cod liver oil has 1,300 IU of vitamin D.

Easy recipes packed with vitamin D

Poached salmon with creamy piccata sauce (4 servings)


  • 1 pound salmon fillet, skinned
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsp capers, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped


Add your salmon along with half a cup of wine, just enough to cover the slice. Boil on high heat, then turn the heat on low. Flip your salmon, and simmer for 5 minutes on each side.

Turn the heat on medium, and cook your shallots with some oil for half a minute. Add the rest of your wine, and cook for another minute. Add in some fresh lemon juice and capers and stir. Cook for a minute. Stir in your sour cream and season with salt.

Maple-glazed salmon (4 servings)


  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • Cooking spray


Mix the ingredients in a bowl, and pour everything over your salmon fillets. Cook the fish under preheated broiler for 12 minutes, skin side down.

Caution: High levels of vitamin D affect health

Vitamin D deficiency is bad for your overall health, but so is its high intake. The lack of vitamin D leads to low blood levels of calcidiol. It may also cause rickets or bone deformation in kids.

Vitamin D deficiency causes osteomalacia, a condition characterized with soft bone tissue, weak muscles and fragile bones.

High intake of vitamin D causes toxicity. Your liver is forced to work faster, increasing the levels of calcium in blood. This is also known as hypercalcemia. Sufferers deal with calcium buildups in kidneys, heart and other organs. Pregnant women should consult a specialist when it comes to supplementing.

The right intake of vitamin D

New Zealand and Australia are two nations with highest number of individuals dealing with vitamin D deficiency.

Age Group Adequate Intake (μg) Upper Level of Intake (μg)
Infants 0–12 months 5.0 25.0
Children 1–18 years 5.0 80.0
Adults 19–50 years 5.0 80.0
Adults 51–70 years 10.0 80.0
Adults > 70 years 15.0 80.0

Here’s the recommended vitamin D intake for Canadians:

Age Group RDA (IU) Tolerable Upper Intake (IU)
Infants 0–6 months 400* 1,000
Infants 7–12 months 400* 1,500
Children 1–3 years 600 2,500
Children 4–8 years 600 3,000
Children and Adults 9–70 years 600 4,000
Adults > 70 years 800 4,000
Pregnancy & Lactation 600 4,000

Experts have determined the right vitamin D intake for Americans:

Age Group RDA (IU/day)
Infants 0–6 months 400*
Infants 6–12 months 400*
1–70 years 600 (15 μg/day)
71+ years 800 (20 μg/day)
Pregnant/Lactating 600 (15 μg/day)

Sun and vitamin D

Feel free to spend more time in the sun. Your oil produces cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Spend at least 15 minutes (up to 2 hours) in the sun to stimulate the production of this vitamin. If your skin one is dark, spend more time outside.

Your vitamin D intake depends on other factors, too.

Time: Spending time in the sun on midday is more effective than doing it in the morning or afternoon.

Location: If you live in an area close to the equator, you will get more vitamin D.

Complexion: If your skin tone is fair, you will absorb vitamin D better than dark-tanned people

Fair-skinned people produce 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin D. If your skin tone is dark, spend more time tanning. Don’t forget your sunscreen!