What is Vitamin D?
Your momma always said sunshine was good for you, but it turns out momma was even more prescient than we thought (as if that was even possible). Science is continuing to find that vitamin D plays an ever more important role in our overall health. And there’s no greater source of it than that big ball of yellow energy that goes into hiding 6-8 months out of the year during fall and winter. Studies have shown that a deficiency in vitamin D can contribute to a poor immune system, dementia, high blood pressure, depression, and even muscle loss.
So, what is vitamin D?
When we talk about vitamin D from the sun, we’re really talking about vitamin D3, which the human body needs for a whole host of essential functions. Since we don’t actually produce the stuff, we need an external source, and our bodies are so amazing that we can synthesize vitamin D from sunrays that penetrate our skin. We need direct sunlight in order to do this, which means no barriers like windows can be between us and the sun, for about 10 to 15 minutes on our arms and legs each day, which is very difficult to get the farther you are from the equator, and especially during the fall and winter months when we see even less sun.
Since vitamin D contributes to your immune system, deficient sunlight has been linked as a major cause of the cold & flu season that springs up each winter.
Why do I need vitamin D?
Vitamin D is not only crucial to activating your immune system, recent studies show that it lowers risk to depression, is associated with a decrease in dementia, aids in muscle repair post-workouts, and can help control blood pressure and weight gain.
But just because the sun is saying sayonara, it doesn’t mean you can’t get your daily dose of the good stuff. Supplements can be taken to ensure that you’re getting the right amount for you. There are even at-home tests you can get online to see whether you’re deficient. Since vitamin D is so integral to good health, don’t put off finding out whether you’re deficient. Your well being may depend on it.