A little bit more Vitamin D in your life could improve your health in a very dramatic way. New research has shown that Vitamin D is vital for good health, even more so than we have thought in the past.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate and zinc, all of which are needed to keep the body in good working order. It also helps to prevent flu and the common cold, boosts the immune system, can prevent heart disease and strokes, prevent diabetes and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. Vitamin D can also prevent many cancers.
You find Vitamin D in many foods but the easiest way of absorbing Vitamin D into your body is through the sun. A few minutes of sun exposure per day is the ideal way to ensure optimum Vitamin D levels.
Once has to be careful with the sun, though. You should avoid summer sun when it is at its hottest – between 11 am and 3 pm. Of course, it depends on where you are and which country you are in, but be sensible. Give yourself a few minutes in the sun when it is not at peak level and do not get sunburned. Although you want the sun on your skin, you do not want skin cancer! Go outside in the early morning or in the later afternoon, wear sunblock or suntan lotion, but feel the sun on your skin. It takes just a few minutes for the Vitamin D to enter your bloodstream and for the health benefits to start kicking in.
Think about it. We all feel a bit healthier after being in the sun. It makes us feel good, lifts our mood and also makes us look good. Sunshine can do that for you! But be wise and be aware too of the damaging effects of the sun. Too much sun can cause skin cancer and also – wrinkles. Always wear a hat and use a suntan lotion, no matter what time you are going out into the sun.
It is important to note that you do not get Vitamin D from tanning beds or artificial light, and tanning beds are not overly recommended anyway. There are safety issues with them and you may choose to use them to get a tan but the will not help with Vitamin D.
Vitamin D can also be found in many foods. You will find it in fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Cheese contains Vitamin D, as does another dairy, and also liver and egg yolks. Cod liver oil and mushrooms are also a good source of Vitamin D. Read the labels when you buy food to see what vitamins and nutrients are inside.
Some of the symptoms of a lack of Vitamin D include:
- A weakened immune system
- Autoimmune disease
- Seasonal depression
- Weak bones, arthritis or osteoporosis
- Dermatological problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
- Heart disease
- Osteomalacia or rickets as they are commonly known
If you live in an area with little sunlight then you are more prone to a Vitamin D deficiency. If you are unable to go in the sunlight or have access to the foods that contain Vitamin D, it may be a good idea to take a supplement. These are available in capsule form.
Studies and research are showing how Vitamin D can prevent disease and also slow down the disease. Basically, a healthy diet filled with all the right minerals, vitamins and nutrients is important for good health. One should always strike a balance and eat sufficient protein, dairy, fruit, vegetables, and carbohydrates. If you are not feeling well, or have symptoms that are making you anxious, don’t just try and get better with diet. See a doctor. Find out what is wrong with you. And know that you could fix it perhaps by changing your diet.
- Vitamin D is good for your mental health too. It has been found to reduce depression.
- Vitamin D has been shown to help people with type 2 Diabetes.
- Vitamin D can reduce pain and inflammation that you may be feeling or may have.
- Vitamin D can reduce the risk of many kinds of cancer.
There are a few different kinds of Vitamin D and some doctors think that Vitamin D3 is better than Vitamin D2. Vitamin D2 is the Vitamin that comes from a fungus, i.e mushrooms. Vitamin D3 comes from the sunshine. Get both. And if you are worried that you do not have enough in your diet, or you live in an area with little light or sunshine, chat to your doctor. You can have your Vitamin D levels tested – it is a serum level test – and if you are low, you will be given supplements.
Vitamin D is also known as the ‘bone vitamin.’ This is because it is so important in the absorption of calcium and therefore ensuring strong bones. Michael Holick, MD, and pioneer in Vitamin D research, says that every single tissue and cell in our bodies have receptors for Vitamin D. He is sure that unless our bodies have sufficient Vitamin D, we are at danger of disease. A Vitamin D deficiency makes you over 90% more prone to insulin resistance, leading to diabetes.
Vitamin D deficiency has become a problem throughout the world. In American alone, over 64% of the population do not have enough Vitamin D. The results of this deficiency could be catastrophic, especially amongst women who are prone to losing calcium through menopause.
Eating well and living a healthy life and getting sufficient exercise are the most important things to do. Ensure that you are getting everything in your diet. If not, take supplements. With Vitamin D you need to have blood levels of at least 30 ng/mL although 50 ng/mL is better. If you are below 20 ng/mL you are deficient.
Remember, Vitamin D is helpful for:
- Lowering the risk of diabetes
- Strengthening the heart
- Strengthening your bones
- Preventing cancer
Don’t wait to get one of these diseases before increasing your Vitamin D levels. Prevent disease. Do your research. Know that the majority of people who have had heart disease have had insufficient Vitamin D levels in their body. Take control of your health now and do not become a statistic. It has been recognized that insufficient Vitamin D is a predictor for heart disease. Check your levels. Improve them if you need to.
Insufficient Vitamin D is also being clearly linked to depression, Alzheimer’s and certain cancers. Don’t wait for these diseases to strike. Remember all the receptors in your cells are open and waiting for Vitamin D. Give it to them. Go out into the sunshine. Eat your foods that are filled with them. And get some exercise too.
Remember, it has been proven too that Vitamin D supplements work. And by getting sufficient supplements you can prevent these diseases, and you can also stop them from getting worse. If you take a look at diabetes, Vitamin D can actually prevent pre-diabetes from ever reaching full-blown diabetes.
A reminder then:
- Get your five minutes of the sunshine per day, a bit more or a bit less depending on the strength of the sun in your area.
- Eat fatty fishes such as mackerel, salmon or tuna.
- Get sufficient cheese and dairy in your diet.
And even if you don’t like it, eat liver. Beef liver is excellent, chicken liver is good and cod liver oil is brilliant too.
Educate your children and your whole family about the benefits of Vitamin D. It is a Vitamin that little is known about but that everybody needs. If you are struggling with high blood pressure, high blood sugar or cholesterol issues, increase your Vitamin D level too. If you are a woman going through menopause, Vitamin D will aid your body to process calcium and magnesium. And no matter your age, you need Vitamin D to prevent cancer and diabetes.
We all want to look and feel good. Sufficient Vitamin D will have you doing both of these. Good body strength, muscle strength, and bone strength are important. Plus your skin will glow and your hair will shine. There are millions of cells in your body and their receptors are all open and waiting for Vitamin D. Give it to them for optimal health.