How can we be sure that we are getting enough vitamin D in winter?
Vitamin D is fat soluble and it is a super interesting nutrient. We can only get it in a few of our foods so which foods are those?
You will find vitamin D in red meat, some of the oily fish and it is also added to dairy products. The cool part about our bodies is that we are able to create our own vitamin D by having direct sun shine on our skin.
A lot of us are able to get sufficient vitamin D when eating a healthy diet and spending some time outside in summer and also in spring and early fall. For a lot of us, we need to be careful because it is possible to suffer from deficiencies of vitamin D. Not all of us are able to be outside due to severe winter temperatures.
If we become deficient in vitamin D, there can be health issues and consequences. We need vitamin D for healthy muscles, bones, and teeth and this nutrient is responsible for regulating the quantity of calcium and phosphate we have in our bodies. We require vitamin D for for a strong immune system and proper cellular growth.
When we are lacking in vitamin D, several health problems can occur such as:
hair loss, bone and muscle pain and slow wound healing.
Very low levels of vitamin D are also linked to season affective disorder which is an intense form of “the winter blues”.
How can we ensure that we get sufficient vitamin D in the winter?
We are able to build up our vitamin D stores during the spring, summer and early fall by spending time outside and allowing the sun to hit our skin and work its magic. If you cannot be outside, you will need to try to add vitamin D rich food to your diet. It will also be recommended that you take a supplement for vitamin D.
It is important to note that the sun’s UVB rays are unable to penetrate through windows so those of us who work next to sunny windows are still prone to vitamin D deficiency.
How can you tell if you have low levels of vitamin D?
You can get a simple blood test to check and see how much vitamin D is stored in your body. A trip to your family doctor can tell you if you require supplementation for this important nutrient.
About the Author: Sheri Burkeis a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients.In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.