Here Comes the Sun: Why We Still Need Vitamin D
Daytime is getting longer and the weather is warming up, which means a lot more outdoor activity. You may have heard that you get vitamin D from the sun. It’s true! But even though we’re spending more time outside, did you know that 75% of people in the U.S. are deficient in vitamin D? Even if we’re outside, we need more vitamin D!
Here’s an interesting fact about vitamin D: it’s not actually a vitamin! It’s a hormone your skin naturally produces when exposed to sunlight. It is also found in oily fish, liver, and fortified cereals and milk.
Where to get your vitamin D
The trouble is, it may be hard to get enough vitamin D from the sun and your diet alone. Too much sun exposure burns your skin, which leads to premature aging or even cancer. Sunscreen protects you, but may limit your production of vitamin D.
As for your diet, you’d have to eat fish such as salmon, sardines, or tuna almost every day to get enough vitamin D. So for many people, it makes sense to take a vitamin D supplement. A good vitamin D supplement contains vitamin D3 (not D2) because this form is the most effective at raising the level of vitamin D in your body.
Keep in mind that nutrients are most effective when grouped with the right partners. Magnesium and vitamins K and A work together with vitamin D to provide the maximum benefit. It may seem like a lot to remember, but you don’t necessarily need to. A good multivitamin will usually combine magnesium and vitamins A and K to make it easy to consume along with your vitamin D3.
Vitamin D—calcium’s best friend
Getting enough vitamin D might help you have stronger bones as well. We know that calcium is a critical mineral for bone health, but here’s the interesting part: vitamin D is essential for the body to absorb calcium from your gut and mineralize it into bone tissue. Vitamin D powers the proteins that shuttle calcium into your cells.
A vitamin D deficiency can contribute to osteomalacia (softening of the bones) in adults. Even children’s bones can get soft (called rickets) when they lack sufficient vitamin D.
Having enough vitamin D can prevent muscle weakness and help in the fight against cancer, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. Not only that, vitamin D is also linked to maintaining a robust immune system.
All together now
Vitamin D is crucial for good health, but it’s not hard to come by. Getting out in the sun a few times a week plus solid supplements are going to give you all you need. You’ll also benefit from the fresh air and exercise. Some health habits are hard, but this one is simple and can vastly enhance your health.
Let’s get healthier, together,
Your friends at Santo Remedio
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