Vitamin D is well known as the vitamin that gets produced in your body due to sun exposure. You might get a healthy dose of vitamin D from doing some yard work on a sunny day or cooling off by the pool with the kids. Certain foods can help produce vitamin D in your blood. While we know where vitamin D comes from and how to get more of it, what are the actual benefits of this sunshine vitamin, and how can it help our bodies? To help answer these important questions, we’ve compiled a list of some of the major benefits of vitamin D and how to spot a deficiency in your diet.
Keeps Skin Healthy
One of the benefits of vitamin D is that it can help prevent your skin from ageing prematurely and treat certain conditions, like eczema and psoriasis. Since your vitamin D intake is part of a healthy diet, it also contributes to your overall skin health. Vitamin D not only encourages skin growth and renewal, but it also helps the immune system overall, which has major benefits for your skin. Since vitamin D is thought to reduce inflammation, it may even help with acne for some. At Clearview MediSpa, we offer many anti-ageing skin treatments that can complement your healthy diet and vitamin intake to maximize results and get the glowing skin that you deserve.
Fights Depression and Anxiety
Another major benefit that you can get from vitamin D is an improvement in your mood. Vitamin D is a great option for helping with mood disorders or anxiety since many people with these issues have been found to have vitamin D deficiencies. It may also prove that there is a lot of truth behind the thought that going outside for some fresh air and sunshine actually helps fight depression.
Helps Prevent Diseases
Vitamin D can ward off diseases like heart disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and even the common flu. As mentioned before, it can even combat autoimmune disorders, like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
Helps with Weight Loss
Are you dreaming about your summer body and shedding that extra weight gained over the holidays? Luckily for you, vitamin D may help you in your quest to lose weight and keep it off. In one study, those who took vitamin D with calcium supplements lost more weight over a period of time than those who did not. It’s worth a try after all, isn’t it?
Improves Sleep Quality
Have you ever had a full day in the sun and felt completely exhausted afterwards? Perhaps you didn’t even do much but noticed that the sun can drain you and leave you feeling tired and sleepy. While this is primarily because the sun can dehydrate you and your body has to work extra hard to keep you cool, it could also be from all that vitamin D you get. Vitamin D has been known to improve sleep quality and quantity. It is especially good for those with sleep issues and insomnia. A vitamin D deficiency could mean that you are getting less sleep and having more disrupted and unusual sleeping patterns.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
A vitamin D deficiency can present itself in many ways. Some common symptoms include weak bones, muscle pain, hair loss, and more. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, you are also more at risk for bone diseases, such as osteoporosis. Those who spend most of their time indoors or live in big cities with pollution may be more likely to have vitamin D deficiencies, as they may not get a normal amount of vitamin D exposure through the sun. People who have darker skin may also have less vitamin D intake through the sun, as more melanin means less vitamin D can be absorbed. If you are concerned about having a vitamin D deficiency, then you may want to visit your doctor who will conduct a blood test or X-ray examination to determine if you have a deficiency and, if so, how severe it is.
Recommended Amount of Vitamin D
While vitamin D can be sourced from the sun, it is better not to increase sun exposure to boost your vitamin D levels. This is because the sun can damage skin cells and cause sunburn, which can lead to premature ageing and skin cancer. If you are experiencing a vitamin D deficiency, you should consider taking supplements or increasing your daily intake of foods rich in vitamin D. The daily recommended amount for an average adult is 600 IU (international units), or 15 mcg. This amount varies based on your age, as adults over 70 years generally need more.
Conveniently, you can find many daily vitamins on the market that include vitamin D. You will want to be wary of consuming too much vitamin D as well. This overconsumption can have side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased blood levels. Kidney failure is a more serious side effect of too much vitamin D.
Foods with Vitamin D
If you eat right and incorporate nutritious foods into your diet daily, supplements are just the cherry on top (if needed). Some foods to increase your vitamin D intake include:
- Egg yolks
- Salmon and seafood
- Cod liver oil
- Fortified milk, yogurt, and orange juice
Now that you have the breakdown of vitamin D and why it is essential to your diet, you can make better-informed decisions about the foods you consume and your daily sun exposure. Remember that while it is considered the “sunshine vitamin,” there are other sources that can help provide your daily dose of vitamin D safely and without sunburns, leathery skin, and premature wrinkles. For more information on vitamin intake and anti-ageing skincare, please call Clearview MediSpa at 416-445-2639 or contact us here.