Vitamin Sunshine or Vitamin D is what most people tend to call it, has copious amounts of health benefits. A little sunshine can go a long way. Only ten minutes a day of unprotected sun with no sunscreen is enough to get the vitamin D in your system. Vitamin D is produced in your skin in response to sunlight. It’s main function is to regulate absorption of calcium and phosphorus in your body. It’s imperative for normal growth of bones and teeth and also aides in resistance to certain diseases. (Fun fact: Vitamin D is actually considered a pro-hormone and not a vitamin because the body is capable of producing it itself, whereas vitamins are nutrients that can’t be synthesized by the body and are needed via diet and supplements.
Vitamin D with Sicknesses
Vitamin D has been linked to reduce risk of multiple sclerosis. MS is an abnormal response of the body’s immune system directed at the central nervous system. That’s the reason the government in the 1930s started adding Vitamin D to milk to help prevent more children getting diseases like rickets and bone deformities. Vitamin D also decreases chance of developing heart disease. It’s also been linked to developing the flu less likely. The saying “go outside and get some fresh air” when you are sick actually has some health benefits.
Vitamin D deficiency was found often in people struggling with anxiety and depression. The release of vitamin D is a great healthy way to feel better. Sometimes sitting outside in the sun can make any mood a little brighter. Seasonal depression can happen during the cold winter months, where people can be bundled up and not receive enough sunlight. It’s a direct correlation to depression and mood.
Foods that contain Vitamin D
Besides sunlight and supplements, there are other ways to get your daily dose of Vitamin D. The vitamin can be found in salmon, sardines, egg yolk, shrimp, fortified milk, cereal, yogurt and orange juice. Cheese also naturally has vitamin D in it.
Vitamin D has so many health benefits, but the recommended dose varies per person. The average IU (international units- measurement for vitamins) dose are 600-1000 IUs. But some people take up to 3000 IU’s a day for bone growth or if they have deficiencies. If sunlight isn’t enough to help your mood or overall health, try looking into a daily vitamin that has Vitamin D in it. It’s important to get a good balance of all vitamins needed for a healthy life, but everything in moderation. A little bit of sunshine can make the world of difference.
By: Erica T.