Why our Vitamin D gets low & what do to about it
Now that the holidays are over, and the hype and bustle of a busy schedule tends to decrease, many people start to feel the effects of winter’s “seasonal depression”: lethargy, depressed mood, low-motivation, fatigued – the list goes on. Is it simply our evolutionary need to want to recoil during the winter months? Perhaps it’s a perfect mix of all things like cooler days, less sunlight and barren landscapes. The good news is, we can supplement our routine to help lift winter’s sometimes negative aura.
Sunlight is an excellent source of Vitamin D and is associated with lots of positive effects for the body. But with the rise in skin cancer concerns, our culture has become fearful of sun exposure and burns, thus limiting overall exposure to sunlight. Add this to a longer winter season in many parts of the country and there is no surprise that Vitamin D deficiencies are increasing.
Vitamin D is a vital nutrient for our bodies’ defense system. Vitamin D has been linked to immune support, and is one of the creating factors in our t-cell defense system. This defense is critical during this time of year, when germs are running rampant. Vitamin D has also been linked to helping fight inflammation, increase bone strength and calcium absorption and is a fat-soluble nutrient that affects brain functioning.
Of course, we are all familiar with the mood-boosting benefits of sunlight – whether direct or indirect. Even during cold days, experiencing bright, untarnished sunlight throughout the day has a way of providing more energy and motivation to us all.
We highly recommend getting your families Vitamin D levels checked. More likely than not, you may experience low levels of Vitamin D simply because of the climate you reside in, in addition to the lack of Vitamin D in your diet.
The great news is that even when sunlight is at a premium, you can supplement your diet to get the right nutrients you need. Here are some of our favorite Vitamin D-rich foods:
- Cod Liver Oil
If these options aren’t appetizing to your picky eaters, we suggest taking a Vitamin D/K supplement. Not all vitamin manufacturers are created equal, so here are some of the brands we recommend:
If you aren’t sure how to prepare a tasty meal the whole family will love, rich in Vitamin D, take a peek at some of these we’ve picked out:
Crust-less Spinach & Mushroom Quiche
Behaved Brain Wellness Center
Healthier Kids – Happier Parents