Over the past few months, millions of people have spent time indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic. This lack of sun exposure could be putting many people at risk of Vitamin D deficiency. It is through the sun’s ultraviolet rays, not food, where we get most of our Vitamin D. According to several national studies over the years, Latinos and African Americans face a higher risk for Vitamin D deficiency.
Growing up as a darker skinned Latina, I used to avoid the sun, not knowing the health benefits of the sun. However, the more melanin you have in your skin, the more it inhibits the production of Vitamin D. That means, the darker your complexion, the more you actually need to spend time in the sun to acquire more Vitamin D.
Vitamin D, sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” influences multiple biological processes in our body that play a major role to optimum health.
Some of these benefits are:
- Contributes to Healthy Bones by regulating our calcium and maintaining our phosphorus levels in the blood.
- Improves Brain Function – Helps with concentration learning and memory.
- Supports a Healthy Nervous System
- Energy booster- the photons from the sun are used by your mitochondria in your cells to make energy.
- Enhances our Immune System
- Helps reduce inflammation in our body.
- Can help heal and improve skin disorders.
- Facilitates Hormone Regulation
- Improves Heart Health
- Protects against cancer
- Helps regulate cell growth
- Helps fight depression and can be a mood enhancer.
And the list goes on …….
Here are a few tips for Maintaining Healthy Vitamin D Levels During this pandemic:
- Try to spend some time out in the sun, even if it means taking your work outside in your balcony, lawn, or your front doorstep.
- Include some mushrooms in your diet. Organic and fresh grown Mushrooms usually have the highest levels of Vitamin D.
- Include some fatty fish and seafood in your diet such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and swordfish.
- Eat some eggs and leave at least 1 yolk. Free-range eggs tend to be higher in vitamin D.
- Take a safe Vitamin D supplement, especially Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is the active form that your body needs. I highly recommend Standard Process supplements. Their supplements are made with whole foods and strive to promote a better quality of life.
Next time you get some blood work done, I would also recommend asking your doctor for a Vitamin D blood test to check your levels. The benefits of Vitamin D are endless. Try to sun it up this summer and increase your Vitamin D levels with some good nutrition.
*This article is for educational purposes, and not intended to be medical advice. Please consult your doctor regarding health concerns about Vitamin D.