Have you ever wondered what happens when your vitamin D levels are low? I’m guessing most of you haven’t asked this about vitamin D specifically. I hadn’t thought about it before either, until I read that health experts are warning of a ‘vitamin D deficiency crisis’. Supposedly our lack of suitable amounts of this vitamin is growing, and it can be difficult to find the supplement in stores, hence the word ‘crisis’.
Let’s talk about what the benefits of vitamin D are, as I think you’ll be surprised to learn what an important role it plays. Vitamin D is best known for maintaining calcium balance- this means serious prevention of osteoporosis! Did you know that it can also help prevent cancer? That’s right, it does so by aiding in the differentiation of cells in our body. By specializing cells, Vitamin D decreases our risk of developing cell mutations (ex. cancer). Studies also show that it helps boost immunity, lower blood pressure, and even regulate insulin secretion in diabetes patients. But Vitamin D can also help in weight loss! A recent study demonstrates that when combined with a healthy diet, it can boost weight loss in individuals. Scientists believe this is because vitamin D boosts leptin functioning in our bodies. Leptin is a hormone which tells us when we are full and when we should stop eating.
Now I don’t know if I agree with this deficiency hype, as sunlight is a natural source of the vitamin and getting outside should be easy enough. But when it’s winter, one should try to eat Vitamin D infused foods more often as there is much less sunlight and we should be getting 800-1000 IU of it daily. Here’s the fishy list: herring, salmon, catfish, tuna, sardines, mackerel, eel, eggs, and fortified milk. Not really sure why so many types of fish are great providers of the vitamin, but I love seafood so I’m all for it! Let me know what you do to make sure you get your Vitamin D dose everyday!