Are you getting enough Vitamin D in your diet?  It’s easy to get “the sunshine vitamin” during the summer because most people typically spend more time outside gardening, walking, going to kids’ and grandkids’ baseball, softball, and soccer game, just to name a few.  But with Fall fast approaching with shorter daylight hours and cooler temperature people will be spending less time outside, therefore they may not be getting enough vitamin D.

Why is it so important to have enough Vitamin D?  Vitamin D is an essential vitamin your body needs to function at its best. It is sometimes referred to as “the sunshine vitamin” because it is produced by the sun’s rays and our bodies absorb it through the skin. It is also found in whole fat dairy products. Wherever you get it from, you need it for healthy bones, as well as a wide variety of other benefits.

1.     Strong bones:
Our bones are made of calcium, and our bodies need an ongoing supply of calcium for overall health and bone maintenance. Vitamin D helps stimulate the calcium in our body. If your Vitamin D levels are low, your body will not be able to deposit to your bones; instead, that calcium will be deposited into your bloodstream. Without the nutrients they need, your bones will begin to weaken and you may become more prone to breaks and fractures.

2.     Cardiovascular health:
Daily consumption of vitamin D may help protect you from a range of heart diseases like sudden cardiac arrest or heart failure.

3.     Improved blood pressure:
Daily vitamin D supplements may help reduce high blood pressure, especially if taken when your blood pressure spikes.

4.     Elasticity of arteries:
Healthy vitamin D levels can help maintain and improve the elasticity of your arteries, avoiding the hardening of arteries that leads to poor cardiovascular health.

5.     Improved muscle function:
It is not only your bones that suffer from low vitamin D; your muscles start to weaken as well when you suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D can help strengthen muscles, improve their performance, and increase stamina.

6.     Decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes:
Some studies have indicated that individuals who consume the recommended amount of Vitamin D on a daily basis may actually have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than those who did not.  I wish I had paid more attention to this one when I was younger.  When I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2007 my lab values showed that I was deficient in Vitamin D.  Perhaps if I had paid more attention to the importance of this vitamin earlier I may not have developed Type 2 diabetes.  Now I take it daily for the other reasons mentioned in this post (except for preeclampsia since I am no longer of childbearing age).

7.     Reduced risk of cancer:
Daily consumption of vitamin D may help reduce the risk of various cancers, such as ovarian, lung, breast, throat, colon, and prostate. Vitamin D may help reduce the rate at which cancer cells spread from one to another, possibly contributing to both the prevention and treatment of cancer.

8.     Guard against viral diseases:
Vitamin D may help protect our body from viral diseases like the flu and help us recover from illnesses more quickly.

9.     Reduced risk of preeclampsia:
Preeclampsia is a condition caused by low vitamin D and affects primarily pregnant women.  This condition was previously known as toxemia and it causes high blood pressure, high amounts of protein in their urine, kidney damage and many other life-threatening problems to both the mother and the baby. Vitamin D may help prevent preeclampsia and promote a healthy pregnancy.

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Yours in health and wellness,