Getting Enough of the Sunshine Vitamin

Enjoying a Hike on a Sunny Day

Our skin absorbs the sun's rays & produces Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin).

During Winter months, the sun isn't out for long. When weather conditions are poor, it is best to stay indoors. 

When we do venture out in the cold, we cover our fingers, toes, cheeks, ears & nose to prevent frost nip & frost bite.

Our skin sees little sun from October to April. At this time of the year, we get lower doses of the “sunshine” vitamin (Vitamin D).

It is important to get enough Vitamin D, because it has so many benefits. For example, it promotes calcium absorption & helps to build strong bones & teeth.

According to Osteoporosis Canada “Vitamin D also improves the function of muscles, which in turn improves balance and decreases the likelihood of falling. Vitamin D is therefore doubly essential in helping protect you against fractures.”

The Dietitians of Canada mention that “Recent research suggests that vitamin D may also have benefits in fighting infections, reducing heart disease risk factors, and preventing diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and some types of cancers (especially colorectal cancer)”.

Vitamin D has also been known to fight physical fatigue & boost the immune function (helping to fight common cold & flu viruses).  

Unfortunately Vitamin D is found in a limited number of foods (like egg yolks & some fatty fish).  It has been added to milk & some yogurts & cheeses.

Osteoporosis Canada “recommends routine vitamin D supplementation for all Canadian adults year round. Healthy adults between 19-50 years of age, including pregnant or breast feeding women, require 400 – 1,000 IU daily”.

Before you start taking Vitamin D supplements, talk to your doctor or pharmacist first. Some supplements should not be taken with other medications.

My doctor recommended Vitamin D to me when I turned 50 years (it is even more important as we age). Taking Vitamin D3 is part of my wellness routine.

When weather/conditions & time permits, I try to get outside. I let my skin produce Vitamin D the most natural/organic way possible. I always believed that "a little" sun on our cheeks was good for us! Getting out on a sunny blue sky day, always makes me feel better.

Please be careful; too much sun on the skin can be harmful. It is important to protect your skin when UV ratings are high &/or if you plan to be outdoors for a while (cover-up, wear sunglasses & sunscreen). Sunburns can happen in the winter too (with the sun reflecting off the snow & a wind). Also, be careful in the Spring (as your sun hasn't seen the sun for many months). 

Enjoy the sunshine & always stay safe, stay well & live long!

http://www.osteoporosis.ca/osteoporosis-and-you/nutrition/vitamin-d/

http://www.dietitians.ca/Nutrition-Resources-A-Z/Factsheets/Vitamins/Vitamin-D--What-you-need-to-know.aspx