Note: Please consult your doctor if you are concerned about your magnesium levels and before taking any supplements. This information is not to be used as medical advice.
Our body needs a variety of vitamins to function on a day-to-day basis. Some vitamins only serve a cosmetic purpose. This includes helping you get clear skin, healthy hair and stronger bones.
Yet other vitamins that have a larger purpose. One of these vitamins is vitamin D.
The body needs vitamin D to help it absorb other minerals and nutrients. This minor role is essential. It can make a major impact on your health.
Vitamin D is naturally produced in the body. But many people don’t spend enough time doing activities to help produce it.
Because of this, more and more people are experiencing a vitamin D deficiency each year.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is usually stored in body fat and used as needed. The body has to regularly produce it.
Many people don’t realize that they could have low levels of this vitamin. A deficiency can cause mental and physical damage.
Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to determine when vitamin D levels are dropping. Running a blood test is one of the main ways that this is possible.
Here are a few signs that could point to a vitamin D deficiency:
- General aches and pains
- A general feeling of sadness or minor depression
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Muscle pain or bone pain
- Difficulty in walking, leading to a waddling gait
- Difficulty in minor functions such as climbing stairs, sitting or getting up
- Fractures caused by stress around the hips and pelvis area as well as the legs
Vitamin D deficiencies can occur based on a person’s lifestyle. The following can contribute to a reduced vitamin D levels:
- Spending most of their time indoors
- Not experiencing natural sunlight
- Exposure to high pollution
- Using excessive amounts of sunscreen
While the UV rays in sunlight damage skin, the demonization of the sun has led many people to avoid it.
Why Is It Important For Our Health?
Vitamin D is important for our health on a cellular level. The following are some major benefits that vitamin D provides for our body:
- Regulates the absorption of minerals including calcium and phosphorous. This helps make our bones stronger.
- Boosts white blood cells and the immune system of the body. This helps ward off illnesses, including the common flu.
- Reduces risk of developing osteoporosis (causes brittle bones) or osteomalacia (causes soft bones).
- Reduces risk of developing neurological problems such as multiple sclerosis.
- Improves heart health and prevents heart diseases.
- Reduces feelings of depression and decreases anxiety by regulating the emotions and mood.
With so many benefits to offer, it is necessary to get healthy amounts of vitamin D on a regular basis.
How Do We Get It?
One of the big ways we get vitamin D is by exposure to the sun.
Spending time outdoors in the sun boosts the production of vitamin D in the body. In fact, Vitamin D is often nicknamed the “sunlight vitamin”.
Exposure to direct sunlight boosts the production of Vitamin D1, D2 and D3. The recommended time limit of exposure is at least 30 minutes without any sunscreen on.
But be careful. Overexposure will lead to sunburns and redness. It can also increase your chance of developing skin cancer. Be sure to use natural sun protection while outside.
An interesting note is that people are more prone to experience depression in the winter. The lack of sunlight contributes to seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Vitamin D through Your Diet
Another way that you can get Vitamin D is through your diet.
Make sure that you’re eating a healthy diet and incorporating some of the following foods:
- Egg yolk
- Swiss Cheese
Making Use of Supplements
The main problem with relying on your diet for vitamin D is that you cannot always get the amount your body needs. Only a few foods are high in vitamin D. Even then, you need to eat a certain serving size to get the recommended amount.
In this case, you can take vitamin D supplements to make sure you’re getting enough. In fact, many people take them for this reason. Be sure to consult with your doctor first.
So go out and enjoy the sun this summer. Have an outdoor picnic with some vitamin D-packed foods. You can always find fun and interesting ways to boost your health.