How to avoid a Vitamin D Deficiency
March 3rd, 2018
Ever wonder why people are generally more tired, sick, anxious, depressed and sometimes downright mean during the winter? Well, it could be as simple as the lack of Vitamin D in our diet. According to the CDC, 1/3 of the United States is Vitamin D deficient, but how can one avoid such a deficiency in this sun lacking city? Let's first address the function of Vitamin D and it's importance to our everyday life.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient needed to absorb calcium and phosphorus, which helps develop and maintain strong bones. We do not make our own Vitamin D and therefore need sunlight to synthesize it or intake large amounts of foods enriched in it. It should be noted that in order to synthesize Vitamin D, you must stay in the sun (sunscreen free) for at least 15 minutes and try not to shower too soon after being outside.
Certain populations are more at risk for this deficiency. If you shun the sun, suffer from milk allergies or adhere to a strict vegan diet, you may be more susceptible.
What are some signs that you may be Vitamin D deficient?
Getting sick or infected often
Fatigue and Tiredness
Bone and Back Pain
Look at that!! Does the above sound like you or your crabby neighbor during the winter months? Well, let's be honest, those neighbors on the second floor are like that all year. Seriously, this could be the answer to all of our problems or at least help alleviate certain symptoms that bring us down during the winter months.
What are ways to increase our Vitamin D levels?
Sunlight exposure is the best way for your body to create Vitamin D naturally, however, when you live in New York City this can sometimes be a tad difficult. The good news is that there are some foods that are rich in Vitamin D. They include salmon, herring, cod liver oil, canned tuna, oysters, shrimp, egg yolks, mushrooms and fortified foods such as cereal and oatmeal.
It should be noted that it's very difficult to get all of your Vitamin D needs with food alone, however eating just a few of these foods each week will give your levels a natural boost.
Supplements are also available to increase Vitamin D in the body. D3 is the recommended form of Vitamin D as it is the same form given from direct sunlight. Please be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any supplement. Vitamin D has been known to interact with certain medications and too much can be dangerous. The recommended daily amount ranges from 400–800 IU/day, or 10–20 microgram.
Spring is technically 17 days away (realistically people....we got a few weeks), but listen to your body, visit your doctor if you are concerned and feed your body what it needs to be its best.
Sources include: CDC, Web MD, Healthline.com