Vitamin D (also known as calciferol) is essential for regulating optimal blood pressure levels, enhancing muscular strength, supporting kidney function and the immune response, and maintaining healthy teeth and bones. Oddly enough, however, it’s one of the few essential vitamins that a balanced diet won’t supply in sufficient quantities — which is a bad thing, because too little Vitamin D can cause rickets, a painful softening of the bones which strikes children especially hard.
This is why milk and breakfast cereal are routinely fortified with Vitamin D these days. Otherwise, you can get your Vitamin D by eating whole eggs, fatty fish like salmon, and beef liver, or (if you’re brave) by drinking cod liver oil.
Clearly, all this can pose a problem for the vegetarians among us. Supplements are available in pill form, but a more natural option is available: sunlight.
While we don’t want to advocate too much unprotected time in the sun, the truth is that sunlight breaks down cholesterol in your skin to form as much Vitamin D as you’ll ever need in as little as 10 minutes a day. Needless to say, getting this much outdoor time shouldn’t be a problem for the average gardener.