by Sherrell Dorsey of OrganicBeautyVixen

Before she was diagnosed with multiple-slerosis my aunt lived a vibrant, active and healthy life. My cousin and I would sit at her feet and listen to stories of her college days, her time as a waitress serving sundae’s in roller skates and dancing to Earth, Wind and Fire with her girlfriends.

Now, moving slowly and with a cane in tote, she continues to keep a smile on her face as those memories fade into the distance. I always wondered, how could this disease that rules her life, have been prevented?

As a black girl born and raised in the North West, I don’t get much sun. Thank God that I left for college and spend a lot of time traveling to warmer climates. But for many people of color in the North West we’re plagued by many diseases that potentially could have been prevented with more vitamin D intake.

Back in September the news broke out that African-Americans aren’t getting enough sun and with our darker skin we are becoming more and more deficient. The Root reported that vitamin D has recently been shown to lower the risk of diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, memory loss and several types of cancer.

So how do you get your daily dose? Here are a few tips to step up your prevention game inside and out!

  • Get outside for at least 30 minutes per day for natural sunlight exposure. Still keep your skin protected from harmful rays with a physical sunscreen however!
  • Get at least 1,000 IU’s a day of vitamin D through a daily supplement. I bought a 2-month supply of the tiny capsules from Trader Joe’s for less than 5 bucks.
  • Eat fish fatty fish like wild Alaskan salmon (lower content of mercury), mackerel and cod liver oil (old school style) for natural vitamin D that will also make your skin glow.

Make it a priority for you and your family to stay consistent with daily vitamin D exposure for healthy living you’ll be thankful for.

Sherrell Dorsey is a natural beauty expert, writer, speaker and advocate of health, wellness and sustainability in communities of color. In addition to creating, Sherrell writes beauty articles for Tyra Banks’s beauty and fashion site, Jones Magazine, and Posh Beauty. Follow Sherrell on twitter at