02/23/2012 07:51 am ET Updated Mar 07, 2012

Four Foods High In Vitamin D For Healthier Skin

By Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D. for YouBeauty.com

If you're reading this, you're probably low in vitamin D.

That's because research shows the majority of Americans have much lower levels of vitamin D than is recommended thanks to a lack of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun -- the best source of the vitamin.

And not getting enough has its health drawbacks. Vitamin D is needed for a healthy immune system as well as proper absorption of calcium and phosphorus -- two minerals that are crucial to bone health. In addition, vitamin D may contribute to promotion of brain and heart health, as well as a healthy weight, and may even play a role in preventing certain cancers.

Bottom line: Vitamin D is hot right now and a lot of us are turning to a hot source to get it -- the sun. While soaking in the sun may seem like a great idea when you're young, it can fast forward the aging process by promoting wrinkles. What's more, sun exposure can increase your risk for developing skin cancer.

Lucky for you, there are a few foods that not only are great sources of vitamin D, but they can improve your beauty as well. Here are my four favorites:

Four Vitamin D Foods That Make You More Beautiful

In addition to these food choices, many people take a vitamin D supplement as well. Check with your physician to see if this option is right for you. And the next time you consider a sunscreen-free day as a way to "get in your daily dose of vitamin D," try reaching for one of these tasty, beauty-boosting foods instead.

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