Are you one of those people who steadfastly avoids the sun, believing that any bit of UV exposure will turn you into a crispy critter? If so, you may be depriving your body of an important nutrient. Vitamin D is essential for good health, and most Americans don’t get enough of it. Read on to learn more about this vital vitamin and how to make sure you’re getting enough
Functions Of Vitamin D
Because vitamin D is essential, that implies there are a variety of important functions it has in the human body. Some of them are questionable and up for debate amongst the scientific community, but let’s have a look!
- Bone Maintenance: If there was one thing vitamin D would be famous for, it’s the ability to help you maintain strong bones! Vitamin D is important for strong bones because it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus.These minerals are crucial for healthy bones.
- Mood Regulation: Besides its obvious benefits for your bones, vitamin D may also help treat mood disorders! A review of close to 8000 people found that people experiencing negative emotions noticed an improvement in mood with vitamin D supplementation. So really, if you are feeling suppressed emotionally, think about this important vitamin!
- Disease Prevention: Last but not least, vitamin D may be a key component to the prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases, such as:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Immune health
So, really whether you want strong bones or just good overall health, vitamin D seems to be of prime importance!
How To Get Vitamin D
Now, with all of these benefits in mind, there is one obvious question that comes to mind – How exactly can you get your vitamin D? And…the answer is quite simple. There are two ways -The first one is through sun exposure, and the second one is through food!
- Sun Exposure: Our bodies produce vitamin D when we’re exposed to sunlight, so getting outside for a little bit every day can help us get the right amount of vitamin D that we need. Of course, even in this case, more isn’t always better. It’s important to be careful about sun exposure and avoid staying in the sun for too long since too much sun exposure can be dangerous. But some time in broad sunlight each day is a great way to boost your health!
- Food: Did you know that there are food sources for vitamin D? In fact, many foods contain small amounts of this important nutrient. While it is possible to get all the vitamin D you need from food, most people will also need to take a supplement to be sure they are getting enough (especially if you live in a part of the country that is less sunny). Here are some of the best food sources for vitamin D:
- Egg yolks
- Vitamin D-Fortified products
- Fatty fish and other seafood
The next time you’re reaching for that vitamin D supplement, remember that you’re not just helping your bones –you could be improving your overall health, too! And really, in the context of a complete, effective nutrition plan, who doesn’t want optimal health? Now, cook some fatty fish and get out in the sun!