Spending time under the sun helps us relax, feel great and produce vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. Our body produces vitamin D naturally when directly exposed to sunlight, but we can also get it through foods and supplements. Vitamin D supports our entire body, from strong bones and muscle function to immunity. That is why sufficient vitamin D is essential for your overall health.
Unfortunately, most of the population is vitamin D deficient. Especially those who live in inner cities, wear clothing that covers most of the skin or live in northern climates. In addition, due to COVID and social isolation measures, we spend most of our day inside our homes, which might mean we’re not getting enough vital vitamin D.
This article will find out all vitamin D benefits, functions, and how to ensure optimal levels.
Let’s get started!
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is both a nutrient and a hormone our bodies make. In addition, it is a fat-soluble vitamin stored in the body for long periods. There are two types of vitamin D. The first is vitamin D3, found in animals, such as fish; the second is vitamin D2, which comes from plant-based foods and mushrooms. When it comes to vitamin D supplements, D3 is the best option because it’s the form your body naturally makes.
Benefits of vitamin D
Strong bones and teeth
This is perhaps one of the most well-known functions of vitamin D. Without this vitamin; our bodies cannot effectively absorb calcium, which is crucial to good bone health. Thus, calcium and vitamin D work together to protect your bones. Calcium helps build and maintain bones, while vitamin D helps your body effectively absorb calcium.
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in muscle strength and function. Low vitamin D level is associated with poor muscle strength and fatigue, particularly in older people.
Vitamin D is necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system and the activation of immune system defences. Therefore, a deficiency in this nutrient may compromise your immune response and increase your risk of infection and disease. Vitamin D plays a vital role in most diseases, including infectious diseases. For example, recent research found that vitamin D contributes to COVID-19 outbreaks and infection severity.
Vitamin D is crucial for proper brain development and functioning. Low vitamin D levels are associated with depression, PMS, seasonal affective disorder, and even schizophrenia in adults. If you are suffering from mood disorders, check your vitamin D levels before getting any medication.
Getting enough vitamin D
Many factors affect our ability to produce enough vitamin D. Our skin’s abiskin’so make vitamin D drops with age, and people with darker skin typically have lower levels of vitamin D than lighter-skinned individuals. Therefore, people over 65 and People who have dark skin or avoid sunshine should eat more vitamin D-rich foods and consider supplements.
Here are some practical ways to increase your vitamin D levels.
Spend time in sunlight
Your skin can produce large quantities of vitamin D when exposed to the sun’s UV-B rays. Aim sun’s5-20 minutes a day of direct sun exposure on sunny days and 30 minutes on clauddy days.
Consume foods high in vitamin D
Fatty fish like salmon and sardines are among the foods highest in vitamin D. Free-range, and pastured eggs, beef liver and cod liver oil are other excellent sources of vitamin D. If you are vegan or vegetarian, add more mushrooms to your diet because they are the only vegetarian source of vitamin D.
Take a supplement
Before it’sstart any supplement, it’s essential to get your vitamin D level tested, and if you are now taking supplements, be sure to check your vitamin D levels before stopping. Lastly, you will need to remeasure your vitamin D level in three to six months to ensure that the supplement and the dose work for you.
Be sure to get a supplement that contains vitamin D3 along with vitamin K2.
Vitamin D has many health benefits, from strengthening bones to proper immune function, mood regulation and even covid-19 prevention. But unfortunately, most of the population is deficient in this vitamin. It is crucial to optimize Vitamin d levels to gain all its the amazing benefits for overall health and wellbeing.
To optimize your vitamin D levels be sure to: Spend time outdoors, consume foods rich in vitamin D such as muschroms and eggs and if needed consider vitamin D and K2 supplement.