You can’t turn on the television, pick up your phone or open a social media app without seeing a news story about health or something that is essential to your health. A hot health topic lately has been vitamin D. It’s not like vitamin D is a new thing or a new fad, but the importance of vitamin D and what all it does for your body may be a necessary revelation to many. You hear the term “vitamin D” and you may think of milk, or a supplement. Those are just scratching the surface to this necessary nutrient and just how essential it is to a healthy life and a healthy body.
Pull up a chair, pour a glass of milk, and get ready to unlock the whole story of vitamin D.
Scientists define vitamins themselves as organic chemicals that humans must get from dietary means because they are not made by the tissues in the body itself.You may have heard vitamin D referred to as “the sunshine vitamin.” It is that and SO MUCH MORE! Sunlight is your best source for vitamin D, your body does produce vitamin D when you are exposed to sunlight, but it isn’t the ONLY source for this life improving nutrient. You can also get vitamin D from food sources and from supplements. The question of how much vitamin D is usually based on your age and health report from your physician. Always check with your doctor before you begin any supplements and get their advice on what you need and what dosage is best for you.
What Does Vitamin D Do For Your Body?
You’ve probably heard that vitamin D is important for strong bones, but it has so many other benefits for you. Vitamin D:
- Helps your body adequately absorb calcium and phosphorus
- Helps your body develop strong teeth and bones
- Helps prevent bone fractures
- Helps prevent falls in older people
- Helps prevent osteoporosis
- Reduces your risk of cancer, especially colon, breast, and prostate cancer
- Helps your immune system function properly – helps reduce your chances of developing the flu
- Helps your body fight off certain diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, heart disease, heart failure, and high blood pressure
- Can improve your lung function
- Helps you feel better so you are in a better mood
- Helps reduce depression
- Helps you lose weight
What Are Food Sources Of Vitamin D?
Lucky for us vitamin D is easily accessible in supplement form, but it can also be found in many of the healthy fruits, vegetables, and fish we should be including in a healthy, well balanced diet. You can find vitamin D in:
- Milk (fortified)
- Orange juice (fortified)
- Yogurt (fortified)
- Cereal (fortified)
- Cod liver oil
- Liver or beef
- Swiss cheese
- Egg yolk
The Results Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some people do not get enough vitamin D and it can send their body into a vitamin D deficiency. Several factors can help contribute to a vitamin D deficiency that you might not be aware of:
- Limited exposure to sunlight/Using strong sunscreen – Yes you NEED sunscreen, but a few minutes a day in the summer sun before applying sunblock can give you a good amount of vitamin D. Ask your doctor what is the best option here and don’t expose yourself to harmful UV rays without protection.
- Living in a big city where tall building can block out sunlight
- High pollution counts in your area
- Having dark color skin
- Certain medications can lessen the amount of vitamin D your body can absorb
- Being older in years can affect your body’s ability to receive vitamin D
- People that suffer from intestinal disorders sometimes have trouble with not getting enough vitamin D
The health results of vitamin D deficiency can be very serious and can consist of:
- Developing soft bone conditions such as osteoporosis and osteomalacia
- Weak bones that break easily
- Children can develop a disease called Rickets where their bones don’t grow properly, delaying their natural growth and affecting the response of their immune system
- Feeling poorly, tired, aches and pains
- Muscle pain, bone pain, difficulty walking and climbing stairs
- Higher levels of anxiety and depression
Take Care And Take Charge
Our bodies do need vitamin D and the spotlight on this nutrient is bringing great awareness. As tired as you may be of hearing about eating healthy, exercise and taking vitamins, when you do your research, the realization comes to light how important what you put into your body is to your health and longevity. Want to live a long, healthy, happy life? Listen to your doctor, eat your fruits and vegetables, exercise, and see what supplements your doctor recommends you should take. Remember, the amount you need changes as you age and needs to be customary to your own body, so always seek your doctor’s advice before adding or taking away things to your daily routine.
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