Healthy Living

VITAMIN D

Vitamin D, the all -inclusive, get it for free, feel-good, immune-boosting nutrient! Yes, your body can make vitamin D from sunlight and yet medical research is showing Vitamin D to be the number 1 vitamin deficiency in the world.

Why is Vitamin D so important?

Vitamin D is not just a vitamin, it is actually a pro-hormone that helps to balance and control a lot of hormones and physiological responses in your body, such as stabilising our cholesterol levels. Naturally we spent less time outdoors during the cold winter months which leads to a reduction of Vitamin D in our bodies. This decrease has shown to increase cholesterol-levels. Vitamin D is also known as the “feel-good” vitamin because it increases the “feel good“ hormone serotonin. Vitamin D also helps to:

  • increase our energy levels!
  • boost our immune system
  • relieves depression and anxiety
  • lose weight and reduce fat storage
  • strengthen bones
  • reduce asthma-like symptoms
  • relieve skin problems such as eczema
  • improve digestive health
  • improve brain function and has been linked to mood-disorders

What may cause Vitamin D deficiency?

  • Not getting enough sunlight exposure
  • Excessive usage of sunscreen because it reduces Vitamin D production
  • Suffering from obesity, heart problems and diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Suffering from Candida Albicans – the overgrowth of yeast in the body

Having a darker skin can also increase one’s risk for vitamin D deficiency. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the newest statistics show that more than 90% of people with darker skin pigments (including African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians) living in the United States now suffer from Vitamin D insufficiency, while 75% of the white population seems deficient.

What are the warning signs of Vitamin D deficiency?

  • Fatigue
  • Osteoporosis
  • Heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Depression and mood disturbances
  • Insomnia
  • Skin problems and hair loss
  • Arthritis and joint pain
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Chronic muscle and bone pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Autism

How can I increase my Vitamin D levels?

The best source of Vitamin D is the sun! Sunshine during the winter months are so important and just spending 20-30 minutes in the sun daily can radically increase our Vitamin D levels. Valuable food sources are: dark, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout and tuna. Other foods include raw milk, egg yolks, mushrooms and butter. Supplements that contain Vitamin D3 can also help to increase Vitamin D levels, especially for those that work long hours indoors. Vitamin D is a fat- soluble vitamin, and it is there for recommended to eat a healthy fat such as coconut oil or avocado when you take supplements to assist in the absorption of vitamin D. Reducing your exposure to toxins and chemicals can also help maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D in the body.  Chemicals such as BPA’s found in plastic bottles have been shown to inhibit Vitamin D production in the liver.

Have a look at the fish cake recipe to naturally boost those Vitamin D levels.

Written by Francine

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