Oh, Vitamin D! We love you so!
The health benefits from getting the appropriate amount of Vitamin D abound! Vitamin D is important for strengthening bones and teeth as well as supporting the body’s defenses against some diseases (breast cancer being among them). It effects genes on a cellular level and supports the immune system through the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D helps support weight loss and research is telling us that it helps to curb anxiety and depression as well!
Sound pretty good? We think so too!
So, how do you increase your Vitamin D intake?
Catch some rays: Soak up your Vitamin D:
Sun! Believe it or not, the sun is the very best source of Vitamin D! The skin produces approximately 10,000 IU vitamin D in response to 15 – 20 minutes of summer sun exposure.
How about taking a walk and exposing some skin? (Remember to be cautious of skin damage and prevent sunburns. If your climate warrants it, be sure to smooth on the sun screen before any prolonged sun exposure.)
Introduce more Vitamin D into your diet! Here are a few ideas to get yourself started:
Salmon, fresh and wild caught
Cod Liver Oil
Fortified orange juice
Fortified breakfast cereals
Increasing the Vitamin D that you consume should not be difficult! Make a conscious choice to include some of these items into your diet. Try choosing Fortified Yogurt for your morning snack! Or, how about drinking Fortified Orange Juice with your dinner tonight? Make smart choices that blend well into your lifestyle, when incorporating Vitamin D rich foods in your diet work on creating habits and simple switch outs that can be done easily and frequently.
What about multivitamins?
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “Vitamin D is included in many multivitamins. It can be found alone as softgel capsules, tablets, and liquid in over-the-counter strengths from 50 to 1,000 IU. Higher doses are also available, but it is best to ask your doctor to recommend the safest, most effective dose. For those who have trouble digesting fat, vitamin D injections are also available by prescription.”
Wondering if your Vitamin D deficient?
That was our first question too! How can you tell if you have enough Vitamin D in your diet? A couple of tell-tale signs include overall tiredness, aching bones, muscle and bone soreness when walking, stepping up stairs, and bending/ crouching (stress fractures can even occur!). Look for a general feeling of being unwell.
When it comes to Vitamin D, a little goes a long way! Of course, if you are concerned, please consult your doctor. However, a good rule of thumb is to supplement with 2,000 IU per day. Supplement for three months. Then obtain a vitamin D test, now available in a home test kit. Adjust dosage so that blood levels of vitamin D are optimized.