Days are getting shorter and the air is getting colder.
Unfortunately this means less time outside in the sunlight.
You are eating better now so your body is getting most of the vitamins and minerals it needs from food. However, there are only a few foods that naturally contain vitamin D (fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil). Most foods that contain vitamin D only have small amounts, so it’s almost impossible to get what your body needs just from food.
There are only two sure ways to get enough vitamin D:
- Exposing your bare skin to sunlight to get ultraviolet B (UVB).
- Taking vitamin D supplements.
The sun also contributes significantly to the daily production of vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure is thought to be enough to prevent deficiencies. But in places not close to the Equator you can’t produce much vitamin D from November through March.
Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. It is used, alone or in combination with calcium, to increase bone mineral density and decrease fractures. Recently, research also suggests that vitamin D may provide protection from osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), inflammation, cancer, and several autoimmune diseases.
The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are sometimes vague and can include tiredness and general aches and pains. Some people may not have any symptoms at all. If you have a severe vitamin D deficiency you may have pain in your bones and weakness, which may mean you have difficulty getting around. You may also have frequent infections.
Click here for more information on Vitamin D including proper dosages for supplements.