Healthy Eating: Vitamin D saves the day
Vitamin D has a whole host of benefits to boost energy, health and overall happiness.
sunshine Photo: Wikicommons
Most of us know that we can get Vitamin
A from orange vegetables, Vitamin C from citrus fruits and the B Vitamins from
whole grains. But what about Vitamin D? Where does this mysterious vitamin come
from, and more importantly why do we care? No offense to vitamins A, B, C and E,
but recent studies have found that Vitamin D may be one of the most important
vitamins to consume on a regular basis. Gone are the days when Vitamin D is
merely considered to be calcium’s sidekick. It is now considered a vitamin that
many of us need to make sure we are getting enough of each month, each week and
Now how do we get Vitamin D? Unlike other vitamins, our bodies
actually produce Vitamin D when exposed to the sun – hence D’s nickname the
“sunshine vitamin.” Sadly, as many of us have heard over and over again,
unprotected exposure to the sun’s harmful rays can lead to the wrinkles,
premature signs of aging and of course skin cancer. Unfortunately for Vitamin D,
when we lather on sunscreen we are reducing our skin's ability to manufacture
Vitamin D by 90 to 99 percent – good for our skin, bad for our Vitamin D levels.
So how do we get this vitamin safely? The only way really are Vitamin D3 pills
(or liquid drops).
Here are four of the many reasons why it’s recommended to get
4,000IU a day:
Immune boosting power
Drinking orange juice when your throat
starts to get sore or you when feel the sniffles coming on is a good idea;
however, making sure your levels of Vitamin D are high enough year round may
actually help keep colds and the flu at bay. Researchers have found that
numerous immune compounds depend on vitamin D to fight off infections.
stronger bones (and muscles too)
For years Calcium and Vitamin D have gone hand
in hand, and for good reason. Without vitamin D, the body cannot properly absorb
calcium, and bones become fragile. Vitamin D goes beyond just building stronger
bones, it is also needed to maintain muscles. Vitamin D is needed for normal
muscle production and strength, and a lack of the vitamin leads to muscle
weakness, a reduced range of motion, and increased physical frailty
Back in 1980 researchers reported that low Vitamin D levels were
associated with a greater risk of developing colorectal cancer. Since then
numerous studies have popped up tying low levels of Vitamin D to higher levels
of breast, ovarian, kidney and prostate cancer.
Makes you smile…more
Finally and most importantly, studies have found that Vitamin D can actually
help to elevate our mood, particularly for women. Studies have found that
Vitamin D helps to prevent disorders such as depression, anxiety, irritability,
and premenstrual syndrome as well as lessen their severity.