The Magic Of Vitamin D
Have you ever had that feeling of coming out of a long and dark winter when those first rays of warm sun have a chance to hit your skin, and in some strange way it almost feels as though you are satisfying an actual craving of your body?
Perhaps it is simply the comforting feeling of warmth after the cold, but perhaps also there is something magical happening in connection to the sun, some inner workings in the skin.
Scientists have known for a very long time that most mammals have the ability to synthesize vitamin D through exposure to sunlight.
Sunlight is not always accessible though, and there are lots of people are doing their best to try to stay out of the sun for fears of skin cancer.
Food Sources that are high in vitamin D include:
Salmon and most type of fish
Cod Liver Oil
Over the past decade or so more and more research is coming to strong light that this vitamin is perhaps a magical one.
When we do not have vitamin D, our bones begin to grow weak and soften, our immune system suffers and current research is even beginning to find that there may be a link between low levels of vitamin D and certain cancers.
Every cell of your body has a special receptor available for Vitamin D to live in order for proper functioning.
Vitamin D & Cancer
A 2007 large scale clinical study found that increasing Vitamin D in your body could lower your chance of getting cancer by half. In 2009, a California physician found that over half a million cases of breast and colorectal cancer could be prevented if people would consume more vitamin D in their diets.
Since these initial studies, doing a quick search on pubmed.com (a source of scientific journals), and using the keywords ‘vitamin D and cancer’, there are thousands of results showing outcomes that are of great interest to the entire population.
There are studies showing that having too little Vitamin D in the your body can lead to 17 types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, dementia, gum disease and others.
Based on reading current research, here is what is recommend.
1. Get moderate amounts of sunshine. Go outside and get fresh air at all times of the year. The amount of time you need to spend outside will vary based on where you live and who you are, but in books the key is to get outside and show a respectable amount of skin so that you can soak up the suns rays.
2. In the winter months, add a vitamin D supplement of about 400IU – 2000IU to your daily intake of food. Make sure it is Vitamin D3.
3. Eat fresh wild fish once or twice a week. This being said, keep an eye on ocean reports as well to make sure that you are not eating fish from contaminated regions.
4. Eat Portobello mushrooms. They are kind of expensive, but super tasty and quite high for a plant in this vital nutrient. One cup of Portobello has about 400IU of vitamin D.
5. Check your milk cartons, whether you drink cows milk, almond milk or other brands, find one that is fortified with Vitamin D.
6. Also check your juice cartons, since many kinds of orange juice are being fortified with Vitamin D.
If you are someone who likes to know exactly where you stand in terms of ‘are you getting enough’, then you can always ask your doctor to do some blood work to find out whether you should be taking the supplements or not.