On a warm, sunny day, you are getting plenty of Vitamin D. Dubbed the “sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D is produced in your skin in response to sunlight. It is a fat soluble that delivers several health functions for your body. Most people get Vitamin D from food. Some food sources that contain Vitamin D are the following:
- fatty fish (mackerel, salmon and tuna)
- dairy products (fortified)
- soy milk
- orange juice (fortified)
- beef liver
- egg yolks
Unfortunately, several environmental and lifestyle factors can affect your ability to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D through sunlight and foo alone. These factors include:
- use of sunscreen
- a diet deficient in Vitamin D
- living somewhere where the sun hardly comes out (e.g. cities in the state of Washington)
- working long hours indoors
- living in big cities where buildings block sunlight
If you are experiencing one or more of these factors, then supplementing with Vitamin D is essential for optimal health. Here are 4 health benefits of Vitamin D.
Builds strong, healthy bones
While calcium always gets linked for building strong, healthy bones, Vitamin D does so as well. As a matter of fact, Vitamin D is sort of like a Robin to calcium’s Batman; Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Being deficient of Vitamin D leaves you susceptible to bone abnormalities such as osteoporosis (fragile bones) or osteomalacia (soft bones).
Improves mental sharpness
Been feeling foggy in the head lately? Well Vitamin D can bring you back to focus. A study discovered that people with higher levels of Vitamin in their bloodstream had better mental sharpness; displaying superior memory function and processing information at a faster rate versus those with lower levels.
Boosts immune function
As flu season is around the corner, maintaining optimal immune function is very important. A study discovered people who had low levels of Vitamin D where 30% more likely to get infected or get sick. So it is best to supplement with Vitamin D to prevent or help get over a sickness.
Supports a healthy heart
Vitamin D is vital for heart health. Studies show that people who were deficient in Vitamin D had an 81% potential chance to die from heart disease, 65% greater risk of heart disease, and 57% chance of early mortality versus those with high levels of Vitamin D. In other words, it is best to get adequate a daily dose of the fat-soluble vitamin if you prefer to live longer.
As you can see, it is vital to have Vitamin D in your diet. So make sure to get a quality Vitamin D supplement (around 600 IU for the average person); especially if you don’t get enough sunlight (10-30 minutes per day) or prone to sunburn.