Our Winter Essential: Vitamin D

Our Winter Essential: Vitamin D

Our Winter Essential: Vitamin D

Let’s face it: the dark, cold winter months are upon us. And if there’s one thing us midwesterners know, it’s that most of us are all at least a little Vitamin D deficient. In fact, according to Mercy Medical Center, it is estimated that about 42% of the U.S. population is Vitamin D deficient. What does this mean for our health and wellbeing?

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for our physical and mental wellness. It has many jobs, and is directly linked to bone health. Vitamin D helps absorb and maintain adequate levels of calcium and phosphate, which causes a positive chain of events within the body. In fact, research shows that a deficiency in Vitamin D is linked to depression, mood swings, lack of energy, chronic skin conditions and other chronic diseases. It is estimated that you should be getting 10-20 mcg of Vitamin D daily, and sometimes more depending on your personal lifestyle and body. Luckily, there are a number of simple ways to ensure that you and your family are getting enough of this essential vitamin throughout the year.

Here are a few tips to increase your levels of Vitamin D, so that you can be your happiest, healthiest self.

Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sunlight (Safely!)

Our skin is an amazing organ that is able to absorb and utilize Vitamin D through natural sunlight. However, it is also important to be mindful of properly protecting our skin from overexposure to sunlight. Hello SPF! Overexposure can cause premature aging, oxidative stress, hyperpigmentation, and put you at a greater risk for developing various forms of skin cancer, such as melanoma. Susan Blum, MD, MPH, an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, found that being in direct sunlight daily for up to 20-30 minutes (arms and legs exposed if weather allows) before applying sunscreen can help improve Vitamin D levels. Late morning to late afternoon is the most ideal time to soak up that sun for a natural Vitamin D boost. Getting out into the sunlight daily will also aid in improving your mood as well.
Some of our favorite winter activities to catch some rays are playing with the littles in the snow, taking the dog for a long walk, or having a winter daylight bonfire.

Don’t Skip The Fish

Say yes to sushi! Fatty fish such as fresh salmon, tuna or mackerel are great sources of natural Vitamin D. These fish are also great sources for Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help improve the skin’s barrier function, leading to healthy, glowing skin. This can especially be beneficial for those who suffer from red, dry or itchy skin caused by skin disorders, such as psoriasis, acne, rosacea and atopic dermatitis. Your skin will look as great as you feel.
Other great food sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, shiitake mushrooms and fortified foods such as orange juice or milk.

Take A Supplement If You Need It

Typically during winter months, many doctors will recommend a Vitamin D supplement to prevent or aid a deficiency. Adding supplements may be especially important if you are prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or are unable to spend adequate time in the sun. It is recommended that you talk with your doctor before introducing a Vitamin D supplement into your daily regimen (or any new supplement, for that matter) to ensure that you are within healthy levels of Vitamin D intake.

Blog written by North Shore Esthetician, Ashlee. Schedule your reservation on the Neroli apponline reservations or call 414.227.2888.

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