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!)
Don’t Skip The Fish
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.