Culture & Lifestyle / It’s Time To Top Up Your Vitamin D Levels: It’s More Important Than You Think!

It’s Time To Top Up Your Vitamin D Levels: It’s More Important Than You Think!

Culture & Lifestyle Mar 20, 2019

Sometimes the benefits of vitamin D can easily be overlooked. Other than the sun there are other sources of vitamin D that we can take advantage of. While we wait for the sun (and the heat) to return, here are reasons why it’s time to top up your vitamin D levels: it’s more important than you think!

When we need a fix of the sun while we are in the depth of winter we dream of the Mumbai heat, the Delhi sun and the beaches of Goa. But stopping short of booking that flight, there are other ways of getting that boost of sun and the much important vitamin D in your system!

 

It's Time To Top Up Your Vitamin D Levels: It's More Important Than You Think
It’s Time To Top Up Your Vitamin D Levels: It’s More Important Than You Think: The beautiful beaches of Goa. Photo Credit: www.tourmyindia.com

 

 

Vitamin D Is…

Here’s a fun fact. Did you know that Vitamin D is actually a hormone? It’s a steroid hormone that’s produced out of cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunshine. Our bodies need vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote and encourage healthy development of bones and teeth. Too little vitamin D results in soft and fragile bones in children and bone loss issues in adults. We also need vitamin D for other important body functions; the most important are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and facilitating our normal immune system function. Interestingly, every cell in our body has a receptor for vitamin D because its involved in so many processes, including protection against cancer.

This powerful vitamin  is also known to fight depression and anxiety, reduce weight and reduces risk of MS.  Between 50% and 90% of vitamin D in the body is coming from the production in the skin and the remainder is from the diet. The production of vitamin D3 in the skin depends on sunshine exposure, latitude, skin-covering clothes, the use of sunblock, sunscreen and skin pigmentation.

 

It's Time To Top Up Your Vitamin D Levels: It's More Important Than You Think
It’s Time To Top Up Your Vitamin D Levels: It’s More Important Than You Think: Vitamin D is great for calcium absorption which is vital for bone health. Photo Credit: www.insightchiropractic.com

 

Are You Low On Vitamin D? You’re Not Alone

Vitamin D insufficiency affects between 30% to 50% of the global population. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, an estimated 1 billion people worldwide have a vitamin D deficiency (VD). When it comes to our skin, the darker the tone means less sunlight is absorbed which means less vitamin D. So therefore it’s important to include vitamin D enriched foods to your diet to ensure that you get the vitamin D fix. So include foods such as tuna, mackerel, salmon, dairy products, orange juice and soy milk into your overall eating plan.

 

It's Time To Top Up Your Vitamin D Levels: It's More Important Than You Think
It’s Time To Top Up Your Vitamin D Levels: It’s More Important Than You Think: Ther eare various foods that you can eat that will give you the vitamin D boost you need. Photo Credit: www.naturesfare.com

 

How Much Vitamin D Do I Really Need?

There has been some controversy over the amount of vitamin D needed for healthy functioning, it all depends on your body’s composition. Make sure you check with your doctor on what your body needs because current studies suggest that we may need more vitamin D than presently recommended to prevent chronic disease. And if you live far north or south of the equator then your vitamin D levels may fluctuate depending on the season. Even though I live in sunny southern California on days and weeks that I spend a lot of time in doors I take a cod liver oil supplement, another great way to get some Vitamin D.

 

 

It's Time To Top Up Your Vitamin D Levels: It's More Important Than You Think
It’s Time To Top Up Your Vitamin D Levels: It’s More Important Than You Think: It’s always important to consult with your doctor to find out how much vitamin D you really need. Photo Credit: www.naava.org

 

So while you are dreaming of the beach getaway (March break plans anyone?)it’s always good idea to make sure that you keep your vitamin D levels intact, rain or shine!

 

Main Image Photo Credit: www.naava.org

 

 

 

 

Nadine Afari

Nadine Afari

Author

Our Guest Fitness Expert, Nadine Afari (@fitthoney) received her Masters in Science degree from The University of Toronto then relocated to sunny California to accept a job as a health researcher for The University of Southern California. She has been studying health and medicine for 15 years at som...

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