Good Morning, Sunshine!
Good Morning, Sunshine! Getting Enough Vitamin D May Be Tougher Than You Think
Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D plays an important role in our health. What makes vitamin D stand apart from other vitamins is that it’s also a hormone that our bodies can make if given enough sunlight, so although it seems like it would be pretty easy to get enough, studies show that between forty and sixty percent of us are still deficient.
So, what’s the problem? Well, it’s not just one thing as you might suspect, but one reason is most likely that we have learned a lot over the years about the dangers of getting too much sun and the importance of wearing sunscreen.
Like me, you may be more interested in protecting your skin than thinking about being deficient in vitamin D. We also have things that are out of our control that can affect how much we get, like the change of seasons, which varies depending on where you live, cloud cover, pollution, age, race, weather conditions and more.
How Do We Know if We Are Vitamin D Deficient?
There are some signs to be aware of that can mean a deficiency in vitamin D that include:
Feeling worn out and tired – this is an easily overlooked symptom because we all seem to be overworked and don’t get the sleep we need to function at our best. If you are tired despite getting plenty of rest, you may be deficient.
Thinning Hair – nutritional deficiencies can affect many issues including hair loss and, in several studies, low vitamin D levels have been shown to be the connection.
Bone loss – since vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium, many people that experience bone loss have been found to be deficient in vitamin D.
Dark moods and feelings of depression – although studies aren’t conclusive, researchers have been able to link low vitamin D levels to depression in older adults.
Since symptoms often seem so common, it can be difficult to know if a deficiency exists, but if you feel that you are just feeling off, and can’t determine a cause, it’s a good idea to get checked by your doctor. All it takes is a quick blood test and will be well worth your time to find out.
How to Increase Vitamin D
If you find that you are lacking in vitamin D, it’s an easy fix so you don’t need to worry. There are three easy ways to make sure you are getting enough.
1. Get out in the sun.
2. Take a vitamin D supplement.
3. Enjoy more foods that are rich in vitamin D such as fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and sardines, enjoy eggs, mushrooms, and orange juice or eat foods that are fortified with vitamin D like cereals and milk.
While there are many factors that determine whether you can get enough vitamin D from the sun, it’s nice to know that we do have other choices. Make a point to eat foods rich in vitamin D and supplement as necessary. If you are still not sure, talk to your doctor and get checked so you can feel your very best.
Health & Wellness Writer Bio
Maria Pease is a freelance health & wellness content writer based in Southport, North Carolina. She has written about health & wellness for more than twenty-five years and has partnered with a variety of companies doing the most amazing work. She loves being able to write about health topics that can change lives for the better.