I was very fortunate this winter to have had the opportunity to travel down South. I took a relaxing & rejuvenating 2-week trip to Florida to clear my head and get some cholecalciferol! Boy do I love palm trees and Hawaiian shirts! Do I worship the sun, you ask? Well of course I do! I am a believer in tans~ I’m just smart about how I do it and I protect myself when it gets too hot (get those dirty thoughts out of your minds boys!). Of course the appropriate protection should be used at your discretion.
The talk of the town
Vitamin D has really been the talk of the town these days. You must have heard about the important and crucial role this vitamin plays in the functioning of both your nervous and immune systems. It even plays a role in the regulation of some hormones. For those of you who live in colder climates and have a harder time exposing yourselves to the warm rays of the sun, let’s take a look at a few practical ways to keep our levels optimized.
Unfortunately, Vitamin D deficiency Symptoms may lead to rickets, in which bones lose calcium and become soft and curved. In adults, may have bone pain and tenderness and muscles weakness. Along with other deficiency symptoms, a lack of Vitamin D may lower the functioning of the Immune system, so don’t let your body get low.
Oh Mr. Golden Sun!
Vitamin D is best absorbed from exposure to the sun, so It’s a great idea to get yourself all sunned up, even in the long and cold winter months whenever you get that chance. Most adults need about 10-15 minutes of sun exposure on their skin, 2 to 3 times per week. The American Dietetics Association (ADA) states: “Sun exposure to hands, arms, and face for 5 to 15 minutes per day is believed to be adequate to provide sufficient amounts of vitamin D.” However, more sun exposure may be needed during the winter months, especially in northern latitudes and smoggy cities.
Get it from food!
There’s an option for everyone!
Fat-soluble food sources of vitamin D tend to be most present in animal foods. So for you vegans and vegetarians out there, you may wish to skip down to the next part. Examples include: butter, fish liver oil, herring, sardines, egg yolks, salmon, tuna and bone meal.
Vegans can obtain non-animal derived sources of vitamin D too! The first source is obviously the sunlight. Try foods fortified with vitamin D derived from torula yeast (a vegetative microorganism).
Minerals such as Phosphorus, calcium and choline work to enhances the absorption of Vitamin D. It’s always a smart idea to incorporate mineral rich foods and get your nutrients in the most wholesome form: packaged by mother nature herself!
As a word of caution, avoid taking an excess of vitamin D in supplement form as it is a fat-soluble vitamin and doesn’t disappear all too easily.