Many people don’t get enough d-vitamin even though our bodies need calcium and vitamin D.
Why is vitamin D so important, and how can it affect us if we don’t get enough?
Vitamin D is a prohormone that helps our bodies to absorb calcium.
Calcium is an essential nutrient for strong and healthy bones.
Vitamin D plays an essential role in bone health because it regulates calcium in the blood. Without vitamin D, the kidneys would excrete too much calcium. In other words, your body uses vitamin D to absorb minerals like calcium. That makes your teeth and bones strong.
Vitamin D also plays a vital role in:
- Brain and mood
- Supporting your muscles, nerves and immune system.
- Supporting lung function and good cardiovascular health
- Insulin regulation and glucose metabolism
So how do you get enough d-vitamin?
You can get it from sunshine on your skin, but also through your diet.
The sun is the most important source of vitamin D approx. 80% from here, as the formation, occurs naturally in the body. 15-20 min. in sunlight during the day is sufficient in the summer. Remember the solar advice here, so it doesn’t have to be when the sun is highest in the sky; on the contrary!
As for the sunshine, it’s challenging to get in the north in wintertime. Many people in the Scandinavian countries, i.e. suffer from either winter blues, winter fatigue and some even from winter depressions.
Also, darker-skinned people in, i.e. the U.S. typically have lower levels of vitamin D than their lighter-skinned peers. The reason is that darker skin has natural sun protection and needs more prolonged sun exposure to make the vitamin. But they are relatively less affected by lack of vitamin D, as measured by weak bones, falls, and fractures.
Foods that are naturally high in vitamin D content:
- Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon
- Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals
- Beef liver
- Egg yolks
Foods that have Vitamin D fortified:
Since there aren’t a lot of naturally occurring vitamin D foods, many products are enriched with vitamin D. Check the nutrition label to make sure there’s vitamin D added.
- Breakfast cereals
- Almond milk
- Soy milk
- Orange juice
How do you know if you lack d-vitamin?
And why might you lack it?
The reason you might lack vitamin D could be because your body doesn’t:
- Get enough sunshine
- Get enough vitamin D from food, especially if you’re vegan or can’t eat dairy
- Absorb vitamin D as well as your body should, or it gets rid of it too quickly
Typical signs of vitamin D deficiency can be:
- Bone pain or achiness
- Depression or feelings of sadness
- Hair loss
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Getting sick more easily
- Pale skin
- Not sleeping well