Many Americans today enjoy slathering on sunscreen and running outside to soak up the sun when that summertime weather starts beckoning. When the colder months start rolling in, as they are now, those sun lovers start to retreat indoors. Although it may be getting cold we still need are time in the sun to absorb a very important vitamin called, Vitamin D. We need Vitamin D for overall health, wellness, bone growth, to lower our risks for disease, to combat depression, to regulate our moods and our sleep patterns. Without the consistent exposure to the sun in the colder months Americans are developing Vitamin D deficiencies leading to many of the health issues mentioned above.
General Information About Vitamin D:
Vitamin D is present minorly in very few food sources including:
Fortified Orange Juice
Vitamin D is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis which is why our levels of Vitamin D spike during the warmer months
More than 80% of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D
Benefits of Sunlight and Vitamin D:
More sunlight leads to happier moods and more rested sleep.
Prevents seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, which is most common in winter when daylight hours are shorter.
Lessens your chances of developing Myopia (Nearsightedness).
Increases your amount of energy throughout the day.
How to Get Your Vitamin D Fix When Summer is Gone:
Be sure to get outside as much as you can to soak up some sunlight
Consider taking Vitamin D supplements. According to the National Institute of Health these are the recommended amounts:
Birth to 12 months, Recommended amount : 400 IU
Children 1 to 13 years old, Recommended amount : 600 IU
Teens 14 to 18 years old, Recommended amount : 600 IU
Adults 19-70 years old, Recommended amount : 600 IU
Adults 71 years and older, Recommended amount : 800 IU
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, Recommended amount : 600 IU
Eat foods known for Vitamin D either naturally or fortified