The Original ‘Sunny D’ – Vitamin D!

Image: Izelle Bakker

Winter is over and spring is finally here! Has your lifestyle been a little more sedentary this winter, and lacking exposure to the sun? If so, you may have a vitamin D deficiency. But guess what? There is a way to replenish your vitamin D stores!

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble hormone that has so many functions in the body. It is often referred to the ‘sunshine vitamin’ as your skin is able to produce vitamin D when you are exposed to sun. It can prevent you from developing certain types of diseases and can reduce many kinds of symptoms. Please read on so you can learn about some of the benefits, what can happen if you become deficient and where you can find sources of vitamin D.

 

Benefits

Vitamin D has so many important roles in our bodies. It is important for the maintenance of a healthy liver and pancreas, the regulation of calcium and phosphorus, as well as to maintain normal blood levels and strengthen our immune system. It also promotes bone mineralization and helps to reduce the occurrence of bone fractures. Pretty amazing, right?

 

Deficiency

A deficiency in vitamin D can increase you risk of developing a chronic disease including metabolic syndrome. Osteoporosis is also a concern for someone low in vitamin D, and rickets in children. Also, recent studies show that development of melanoma can be linked with a vitamin D deficiency. An underactive stomach may cause you to have a vitamin D deficiency, as it may hinder the breakdown of your food and cause problems for absorption of the vitamin. Anyone with a gallbladder or liver issue may also have problems absorbing the vitamin.

 

Sunlight

Vitamin D is often referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’. The sunlight touching our skin enables us to produce vitamin D. It is pretty amazing when you think about it!

Did you know that it doesn’t take hours of sunbathing to get an adequate amount of vitamin D? Approximately 15 minutes is all you need to generate about 2000-4000 IU of vitamin D

Remember to sunbathe responsibly – look for shade and don’t stay out too long. Balance is key!

 

Food

You can also get vitamin D from the food you eat. There aren’t many dietary sources of vitamin D; however the list below offers some you can start including in your diet.

·      Fish

·      Egg yolk

·      Mushrooms

·      Alfalfa

·      Cod liver oil

 

Supplementation

Supplementation is often needed – especially in northern latitudes where sun exposure is not as prominent. Seeking out a good quality vitamin D supplement may be very beneficial for some individuals.

Wondering if you are deficient in vitamin D? Contact me for a Nutritional Consultation.

 

Sources:

"Getting Enough Vitamin D | EWG's 2015 Guide to Sunscreens." Getting Enough Vitamin D | EWG's 2015 Guide to Sunscreens. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2016. <http://www.ewg.org/2015sunscreen/report/getting-enough-vitamin-d/>.

Piotrowska A, Wierzbicka J, and Żmijewski MA1. "Vitamin D in the Skin Physiology and Pathology." Http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26824295. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2016. <http://www.actabp.pl/pdf/1_2016/2015_1104.pdf>.

"The Potential Protective Action of Vitamin D in Hepatic Insulin Resistance and Pancreatic Islet Dysfunction in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus." MDPI. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2016. <http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/8/3/147/htm>.

"Vitamin D." , How Much Should I Take? N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2016. <http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02812/vitamin-d>. 

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Jessica Mitton

 

Jessica Mitton is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Culinary Nutrition Expert. She believes in a holistic approach, taking into consideration the body, mind and spirit. She is fascinated by the healing potential of food and how it can contribute to an individual’s overall health. A passionate creative force in the kitchen, Jessica is continually working to develop her own highly nutritious and equally delicious recipes, made from whole, organic and locally sourced ingredients. Most of all, she enjoys the opportunity to share her passion and knowledge with others, helping them to become their healthiest possible self!