Sam Negrin

May 26, 2015

The Benefits of Vitamin D & How To Get It

by Debra Negrin / GOOD FOOD / Health 101 / Home / 0 Comments

VITAMIN D | the sunshine vitamin | the happy vitamin.

So much of our body’s functionality requires sufficient amounts of Vitamin D to be healthy and strong throughout the longevity of our life. Vitamin D is crucial in the absorption of Calcium and Phosphorus, which help keep our physical and cognitive functions running properly. It is essential to maintain a sufficient amount of Vitamin D as we age; so that we age with strong bones, smooth skin, top-notch memory and brain performance. These 5 benefits are reason enough to ensure you get your Vitamin D:

  1. Maintain A Healthy Body Weight: Vitamin D is linked to increased energy levels and enhanced moods. The more you get, the happier you are, which results in better food choices and more sweat sessions!
  2. Reduce The Risk of Cancer: Adequate levels of Vitamin D have been known to significantly lower the risk of developing cancer. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America did a study showing that Vitamin D deficiency was found to be prevalent in cancer patients regardless of nutritional status, yikes!
  3. Prevent Asthma: A study at Harvard Medical School monitored 600 children in Costa Rica for Asthma. They found that Vitamin D majorly reduced the severity and frequency of Asthma symptoms.
  4. Maintain Strong Bones: Since Vitamin D is essential in the absorption of Calcium, it is clearly essential for strong bones that will stay strong as we age. There are a handful of studies that show how countries in tropical climates have much lower cases of Multiple Sclerosis than other environments. (Now let’s all move to Hawaii?)
  5. Maintain Cognitive Functions: Forgetfulness, fatigue and confusion are all [unfortunate] characteristics that inevitably happen to all of us as we age. Thankfully, Vitamin D is known to preserve our brain health leading to longer and stronger cognitive functionality.

Effortlessly, we absorb Vitamin D from the sun. Yet, we know too much sun can lead to skin cancer. Not to mention, those of us in winter environments won’t absorb enough Vitamin D from the sun alone. One way to incorporate more is by the foods you eat, there are some ingredients that naturally have Vitamin D and others that have been fortified. Here are a few dietary sources:

  • Fatty Fish: Salmon, Trout, Mackerel, Tuna and Eel. Other less expensive options with a longer shelf life include Sardines and Canned Tuna
  • Fortified Cow’s Milk, Soy Milk & Rice Milk
  • Fortified Orange Juice
  • Fortified Cereals
  • Eggs (whole egg, not just the whites!)

Now, it would be great if our bodies could absorb all the vitamins and minerals we need through our diets. But sometimes, we need to supplement our diets with vitamins.

In this case, especially in the winter months, it might be wise to include a supplement a day to keep us healthy. Taking a Vitamin D supplement takes the guess work out of exactly how much Vitamin D you’re getting. Always talk to your doctor or healthcare professional prior to taking supplements to discuss if it’s right for you, the dosage and the type.

TAKEAWAY: Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D to live a long, strong and healthy life. It’s a small step towards a bright future!

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