The Importance Of Vitamin D – Are You Getting Enough?
This vital nutrient is one many people don’t really think of, yet populations around the world are suffering from vitamin D deficiency. It’s crucially important to assist in the maintenance of a healthy heart muscle, bone mineralization, skin conditions, mood/cognitive function, immune function, inflammatory response, hormonal health, enhance calcium absorption and more. Today, far too many of us do not get enough vitamin D for optimal health.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms And Causes:
- Frequent colds and flu’s
- Respiratory tract infections
- Fatigue, tiredness
- Inadequate bone growth
- Muscle weakness and aches
- Hormonal imbalances
- Skin conditions (such as psoriasis)
- Frequent bone breaks and fractures
- Lack of sunshine (you’re indoors a lot)
- You wear sunscreen
Vitamin D is produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight. On average, exposing a large area of your body (stomach/back) in the sun (without sunscreen) for 15 minutes a few times a week (daily is even better) will keep your vitamin D levels in check. If that is not possible exposing your arms, face and even legs in the sun for 5-10 minutes most days will suffice.
We are bought up in a world where we are told to lather on sunscreen when outside, however sunscreen blocks your body from absorbing vitamin D. I am not encouraging you to go out all day and redden or burn your skin, just 15 minutes most days to obtain optimal vitamin D levels.
If this is just not possible for you (which in the winter months can be very challenging) then a supplement could come in handy. There are some foods which contain vitamin D such as egg yolks, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, cod liver, some dairy foods. However, if you are deficient in vitamin D food sources will most likely not be enough to bring up your levels.
Vitamin D comes in two forms D2 and D3. D2 is a vegetable-derived form and D3 is an animal-derived form. I would recommend taking a D3 supplement. The RDI is 400iu*, however, the body uses much more of this vitamin each day for general functioning. If you are suffering from a few of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency listed above it may be worth getting some blood tests through your doctor to check your vitamin D levels. For general health and wellness (if you can’t get sun exposure regularly) I personally recommend getting an intake of 3000-5000iu/day*, as there are many benefits to gain from having adequate levels.
*“IU” stands for International Units, which is an international standard of measurement for vitamins A, D, and E.
Hi I’m Natalie, a Registered Clinical Nutritionist, health influencer, blog writer & recipe creator. My own health complications prompted me to make positive diet & lifestyle changes, revitalize my health leading to a career change from the corporate world to nutritional medicine. I believe in a wholefoods approach to good health, focusing on simple strategies for modern, busy people.