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The Sunshine Vitamin

by Abby Verigin 2 years ago in advice
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Vitamin D

Today, we are talking about one of the most essential micronutrients our body needs. Vitamin D is used in the body to absorb calcium and create strong healthy bones. There is scientific research providing evidence that Vitamin D can lower the risk of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and multiple sclerosis. There are even more benefits to this vitamin that are still being researched. ​Here's why you should include more of it in your lifestyle.

You may know by now that you can get adequate levels of this micronutrient from the sun and being outdoors. Specifically, the UVB rays that the sun emits. Unfortunately, not all Canadians are going outside enough to receive any of the vitamin. Approximately 30% of Canadians are deficient in Vitamin D which could increase ones risk factors for osteoporosis, obesity, and decreased cognitive abilities.

Spending a few moments outside each day can increase your body's ability to make Vitamin D. If you cannot attain this, try incorporating fortified dairy, plant-based products or other items on the shelf where Vitamin D actually gets added to the product. If neither of these options seems reasonable, a multivitamin could be beneficial to your wellbeing. Elders can benefit most from a Vitamin D supplement due to them spending less time in the sun and their increased risk for osteoporosis.

Here if a fun fact, during the Spanish Influenza of 1918, nurses brought hospital patients out into the sunshine and saw a dramatic increase in symptoms. Those who were treated outdoors suffered less than those who did not get any outdoor time. The sun exposure encouraged healing throughout the body.

The current research is debating on how much Vitamin D is needed for your body to see the most benefits. Some say 400 IU while others say 4000 IU. I was once on a vitamin program that recommended I take 6000-8000 IU of liquid Vitamin D per day. When I stuck to this regime, I always felt my best. I encourage you to read the research out there today on this topic.

Now that it is summer time, I will be lessening my Vitamin D supplementation and increasing my time spent outdoors in the sun. Remember that sunscreen is important and each of us will respond differently to UV rays. As someone who is pale and freckly, it is important to gradually increase sun exposure with UV protection.

It is also very important to remember those with increased melanin in the skin (the darker the skin colour, the more melanin in the skin) may have troubles absorbing Vitamin D from sun exposure and most experts would recommend a supplement to fix this issue. There are a number of others factors that can inhibit ones ability to absorb Vitamin D from the sun including, smog, clothing and sunscreen. There is no magic number for you to spend outside each day. I aim for at least one hour of sunshine per day but I usually go for a lot more. I love being warm in the sun.

I hope you learned something today and will start to incorporate more Vitamin D friendly habits into your lifestyle. Whether it is sunshine, fortified food or supplements, it is important to keep this up throughout all seasons of the year.

​Thanks for reading everyone.

This is how to flourish!

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-d/art-20363792

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/nutrients/vitamin-d.html

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-624-x/2013001/article/11727-eng.htm

advice

About the author

Abby Verigin

Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching, Fitness and Yoga Instructor, Wellness Coach from British Columbia, Canada.

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