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Your body has an amazing ability to create Vitamin D by just going outside for awhile (and just smile) while getting some sunshine (the smile is optional, but you may not be able to help it).
Especially in the cooler yet still sunny days of early autumn, Vitamin D produced by the sun benefits our health by supporting our immune system, bones, heart and lungs. Yet, given our modern, more sedentary lifestyle, many people are coming up Vitamin D short due to indoor inactivity, mostly sitting, which can inhibit our bodies from making enough of the sunshine vitamin.
If you live where there’s less sun or you’re mostly inside during the day, you can get your vitamin D from diet or supplements. Foods big on D are fish, eggs, and mushrooms.
People with Vitamin D deficiency may experience muscle weakness and can often be at risk for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancers, bone diseases and memory impairment as they get older.
In cases of bone diseases, it’s important to ingest sufficient amounts of Vitamin D from the food we eat because it helps absorb calcium, essential for healthy bones. Without Vitamin D, some of the calcium can’t be optimally used for bone health.
Take care not to be in the sun too long to prevent skin damage, of course. People with fair skin can usually obtain their dose of Vitamin D in about 20 minutes of exposure. More time can be spent the darker your skin tone.
If you decide to go the supplement route, look for whole food supplements, specifically Vitamin D3 supplements. A whole-food supplement ensures that the supplement contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals from foods prepared to preserve the integrity of the nutrients. Supplements are best absorbed in whole-food form so look for whole-food supplements first when purchasing Vitamin D.
Not to get toooo technical (but this is important): along with the other fat-soluble vitamins A, E and K, Vitamin D uses fat cells to dissolve itself. This means fat-soluble vitamins can potentially be stored in the fatty tissues for extended periods of time, which can cause health issues. So, because fat-soluble vitamins are not as readily filtered through the body as water-soluble nutrients, make sure you’re getting plenty of sunshine and supplement your Vitamin D only if needed.