Vitamin D, affectionately referred to as “the sunshine vitamin,” plays a very important role in overall health and wellbeing. The reason it is called “the sunshine vitamin” is that it is produced naturally when your body is exposed to sunlight. You can also get it through eating foods rich in this essential vitamin or by taking supplements. Even though it’s widely available through basking in the sunshine outdoors, vitamin D deficiency is extremely common. Studies show that an insufficiency of vitamin D actually affects around 50% of the worldwide population, and an official vitamin D deficiency impacts around 1 billion individuals across the globe. In the United States, around 41.6% of the population is deficient in this critically beneficial vitamin.
What Are the Benefits of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D has so many great benefits and is truly vital to our overall health and wellbeing. Vitamin D helps in building healthy bones and teeth, and it improves the function of the immune system to help your body stay healthy and fight off colds and viruses. Vitamin D naturally reduces pain, and it can help in the prevention of cardiovascular disease by keeping your heart, arteries, and blood vessels healthy. Vitamin D can help prevent diabetes, osteoporosis, and depression, and it has been shown to improve quality of life and physical performance. Considering the importance of vitamin D, it stands to reason why we should ensure we have adequate levels throughout our body by making any necessary changes to our diet and the amount of time we spend in the sun.
What Are the Symptoms of Deficiency?
Now that you’re convinced that you need more vitamin D, let’s explore the possible symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency. While you can almost always benefit from healthier foods and more time in the great outdoors, here are a few things to look out for to determine if you really need to step up your game with vitamin D.
- Fatigue & tiredness
- Bone and/or back pain
- Hair loss
- Depression and other mood disorders
- Chronic inflammation
- Autoimmune diseases
- Heart disease and high blood pressure
- Muscle weakness, aches, or cramps
- Immune system weakness
How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels
The most natural way to get enough vitamin D is through regular exposure to sunlight. Set a goal to get 10-30 minutes of midday sun exposure several times a week to maintain healthy levels. During the winter months when it’s too cold to spend much time outdoors, you may consider adding supplements and/or focusing more on vitamin D-rich foods to ensure your levels are within range. Some foods that are rich in vitamin D include cod liver oil, fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and trout), beef liver, egg yolks, cheese, mushrooms, and vitamin D-fortified foods, such as milk and ready-to-eat cereals.
For most adults, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is around 600–800 IU, but many experts recommend getting even more than that. There are two forms of vitamin D, D2 and D3. The more active form, D3, is closer to what the body produces naturally through sunlight absorption. Therefore, Vitamin D3 is the better choice if supplements are needed. It’s best to have your vitamin D levels checked periodically with a blood test to see if your levels are within range before supplementing.
When combined, vitamin D and chiropractic care make for a great way to improve overall health and wellness! They each offer very similar benefits, including pain relief, muscle and bone health, as well as better quality of life! Charlotte chiropractor Dr. Grant Lisetor at Greater Life Chiropractic can help you in your journey to obtain a stronger immune system, improved heart health, and better health overall. Contact us today to discuss how you can receive the benefits of vitamin D and chiropractic care!
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