Are you getting enough sunshine? If not, you might not be getting enough vitamin D either. Discover why vitamin D is awesome and why you want more!
During the cold and dry winter months, Vitamin D is incredibly important to keep our mind and bodies healthy and thriving. There is a reason seasonal depression is called having the Winter Blues. Vitamin D plays many critical roles in our body and with limited food sources, we must get it from the sun but what if you leave for work and come home from work and it’s dark out? Where do you get Vitamin D from?
Vitamin D is an essential part to our nutrition but not many people know how to get it properly. When the weather starts to get cooler and sunshine isn't exposed for long periods of time, there is less of an opportunity for our skin to soak up Vitamin D. Most people would rather stay inside due to the lack of energy they feel during the winter. Lack of vitamin D can lead to health issues such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dementia and more.
Signs You May Be Vitamin D Deficient
You have darker skin
If you have a darker skin tone, you are at greater risk of becoming vitamin D deficient because you may need as much as 10 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as a person with lighter skin.
You are overweight, obese, or have higher muscle mass
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that your body fat acts like a vacuum by collecting it. When you are overweight or obese, you will need more vitamin D than someone smaller then you and this also applies for people with higher body weights from muscle mass.
If you have aching pain in your bones and you also have lack of energy at the same time, this can mean you are lacking vitamin D. Some people also misdiagnose this for having chronic fatigue syndrome.
Excessive head sweating while you aren't exercising or doing anything high impact can be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. A sweaty forehead is a classic sign for someone who is lacking vitamin D.
You are 50 years of age or older
As you grow older, your skin doesn’t make as much vitamin D when exposed to the sun. With older age your kidneys become weaker at converting vitamin D into the form that your body needs to use. It seems older people spend more times in door as well and that also contributes to vitamin D deficiency.
Health Benefits of Vitamin D:
- Prevents the onset of chronic diseases
- Supports skeletal health
- Regulates cellular growth and healthy cell activity
- Protects and lubricates bones, hair and teeth
- Reduces systemic redness and swelling
- Postmenopausal women and darker skinned men benefit the most
How to Get Enough Vitamin D:
- Spending at least 20 minutes outside in the sun, depending on your skin, is one of the easiest ways to get vitamin D.
- Eating more foods that contains some vitamin D is another quick way to get some in your body.
- Taking a vitamin D supplement.
Getting Vitamin D
Although there aren't many plant-based foods out there that contain Vitamin D, there are still a few: Portobello mushrooms, tofu, soy milk and yogurt, oats, and brown rice.
Be mindful of the ways that you need to integrate vitamin D into your diet. During the winter months, you will need to take a supplement if you are vegan. If you are an omnivore you likely can get enough through eggs and other animal foods. Just make sure that no matter what, you try and get as much sunshine on your skin as possible, no matter what time of year it is!