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Are you getting enough Vitamin D?

Don't you just love this time of year? Nothing beats going for a run or long walk and seeing all the beautiful flowers awakening from their slumber to blossom and share their exquisiteness with the world. I love knowing that every day I'll see something new peaking out of the dirt, offering a glimpse of the beauty of tomorrow. I love feeling the sun shine down on my face, warming me from the outside, in.

Most of you probably know that you can get your daily dose of Vitamin D from the right amount of sun exposure. But you may not be aware of all the benefits associated with it.

Vitamin D is important for energy, cognitive function, regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption, and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. It is also suggested to supply a protective effect against multiple diseases and conditions such as cancer, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. That's a lot of benefits!

The name Vitamin D may be deceiving. Because the body can produce its own vitamin D, it is not necessarily an essential part of the diet and is therefore considered a pro-hormone. A prohormone refers to a committed precursor of a hormone, usually having minimal hormonal effect by itself. However, Vitamin D does play a role in hormonal balance, and deficiency has been associated with increased insulin resistance, which may make it harder for you to burn unwanted fat.

It's been estimated that 50% of North Americans are Vitamin D deficient.

Here are 4 easy and healthy ways to get your daily dose!

  • Get outside! It is estimated that sensible sun exposure on bare skin for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times per week allows the body the ability to produce sufficient vitamin D

  • Eat fish! Although sunlight is the most common and efficient source of vitamin D, the best place to find it in the diet is fish! Try Herring, swordfish, salmon, sardines, or tuna.

  • Take a supplement! If you are Vitamin D deficient, you can take a supplement to get your daily dosage. Make sure you're taking a whole-food, natural supplement, or talk to your doctor for recommendations.

  • Eat your yolk! Eggs are a convenient way to get more vitamin D into your diet, but don't skip the yolk! That's where the D is hiding.

Beware... as too much vitamin D can be toxic . The IOM sets the upper limit at 4,000 IUs for people aged 9 and older. (That includes all sources-food, sun, and supplements.)

Here's to many sunshiny days ahead!

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