Are you Getting Enough Vitamin D?
by Maria on January 17, 2015
Hello sunshine! It is nice to finally see some sun here in the northeast. And while it may brighten our day and bring us some newfound energy, it does not provide us with vitamin D. That is, if you are living in the northern part of the world right now.
Our bodies make vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight, but right now the sun is just too far away for that to happen whether you live in Boston, Minneapolis, Seattle, or elsewhere in the northern hemisphere. That means we need to make sure we are getting enough of this fat soluble vitamin from our diets or through a supplement.
Why is D so important?
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, good immune functioning, and recent research also suggests it may help prevent certain cancers and autoimmune conditions.
Sources of vitamin D
There are many sources of vitamin D—some natural and some fortified, yet most Americans fall short on this vitamin through diet alone. Take a look at your own diet and estimate how you are doing. Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon and sardines, fortified milk, milk alternatives, and orange juice, mushrooms exposed to UV, and egg yolk.
I always recommend getting your nutrients from real food if you can, but sometimes that isn’t enough. If you think you need more, consider taking a vitamin D supplement, at least during the winter months. I do. Consult with your doctor or registered dietitian to determine how much you should take. I also encourage you to ask your doctor to check your blood levels of vitamin D, sometimes people get adequate vitamin D in their diet but their gut isn't properly digesting it.
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