Vitamin D- It Does a Body Good
I remember when Vitamin D became the new vitamin everyone was talking about. It was all the buzz right? I know the media tends to take anything the medical community brings up and blow it up and create such a social craze that people get annoyed with it before long. BUT I will say from the research I have done and the knowledge I have learned in my courses I do believe this is one we should stand up and pay attention too.
I am all about not popping pills and getting your nutritional needs met through whole foods but Vitamin D is one of those tricky ones. Exposing your bare skin to sunlight is the best way to get in your daily dose of Vitamin D according to the Vitamin D Council. You don’t need to tan or burn your skin to get vitamin D. You only need to expose your skin for around half the time it takes for your skin to turn pink and begin to burn. I do my best to eat whole foods that contain natural Vitamin D, enjoy some sun but I still needed to take a supplement each day to get to the optimal levels.
Here is some information I took from Optimal Wellness Labs. I think it explains why we need Vitamin D in a fairly generic none scientific way.
Vitamin D is hailed in medical communities as one of the darlings of our nutritional supplements. While many of us understand that vitamin D is necessary to promote calcium and phosphorous absorption in our bodies, there are a lot of benefits that vitamin D provides that you may not be aware of.
For instance, did you know that vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased risk of developing the following conditions?
• Multiple sclerosis
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Type 1 diabetes
• Muscle pain
• Bone pain (including soft or fragile bones)
• Heart attacks
This is just the beginning. Since vitamin D is instrumental to overall health and wellness, you’ll want to take steps to ensure that you get plenty of D in your diet.
How much do you need? It depends on where you look for answers. For instance, current findings suggest that we need a minimum of 600 IUs (international units) per day until we reach the age of 70. At that point, we need at least 800 IUs a day. Other research suggests that we should increase our vitamin D intake beginning at the age of 50. Still, others in the medical community suggest that we need at least 1,000-2,000 IUs per day. Regardless of the recommended numbers and the confusion they may cause, you’ll want to ensure that you increase your vitamin D intake for optimal health if your body is vitamin D deficient. ( trust me 90% of us are ) Next time you are getting blood drawn ask your doctor to test your vitamin levels, make sure D is in the panel.
Here’s the good news. Just 10 minutes of sun exposure every day (without sunscreen) will increase the vitamin D production in the body. +( see note at the end )You may also gauge your intake by staying in the sun just long enough to produce a slight hint of redness to your exposed skin.
How can you ensure that your body gets the vitamin D that it needs to thrive? It’s simple. Enjoy the some sun time, eat foods that contain Vitamin D and supplement. (I always advise my clients to use their work break as a reason to walk outside for a few minutes- gets them moving and getting some needed Vitamin D)
At this point you may be wondering, “How, exactly, does Vitamin D benefit me?” It’s proven. The benefits are numerous.
Here are 10 reasons why your body needs daily doses of vitamin D.
1.aids in regulating our immune system.
2. lowers blood pressure.
3. lowers your risk for developing the flu.
4. is necessary for optimal cognitive functioning.
5. lowers your risk for developing at least 16 major cancers.
6. is integral in weight management.
7. aids in lowering the severity of asthma symptoms and promotes healthy lungs and airways.
8. protects our bodies from radiation damage.
9. may aid in a faster recovery from tuberculosis.
10 aids in kidney function.
Check out this great article I found it helpful. Having the right levels of this Vitamin can change your life over night.
You can increase the levels of Vitamin D in your body by taking supplements and spending more time in the sun. However, you can also eat vitamin D-rich foods such as mackerel, salmon, and tuna. Other foods that are beneficial but have lower levels of vitamin D are egg yolks, cheese, and beef liver. The sun, and foods rich in Vitamin D are good ways to get your D but using me as an example it was not enough. I did this for 2 years and my Vitamin D serum blood tests barely moved. My holistic doc suggested I supplement and made sure I ate some sort of fat when I was taking the supplement. This helps the Vitamin D absorb better. I normally eat a small piece of cheese or some nuts. After doing this for 3 months my levels are fantastic. This is the Vitamin D I am taking right now.( It has the fat in the pill so I could skip the cheese but why lol ) I am not a supplement fan but I will never stop taking this one. Its to scary not to.
+Since I wrote this there is even more evidence about our bodies need for Vitamin D. In addition they are saying 10 minutes is not enough time out in the sun, it might be more like 20. I am not a fan of 20 minutes without sunscreen so I take a supplement every day.