When you think superhero, chances are a caped crusader like Superman or Batman pops into your head. They are men of strength and fortitude, and they helpful and good, but often overlooked unless needed. If a vitamin could be a superhero, it would have to be Vitamin D. While Vitamin C and E are more popular, and they both have great qualities, Vitamin D almost puts them to shame with its greatness – much of which is often overlooked.
Vitamin D is essential to having your body function correctly, and if you can’t get enough from your diet or sun exposure, you will need to supplement – it is that important.
What does Vitamin D do for the body exactly?
Well, like any good superhero disguise, it has a secret. It is not a vitamin. Vitamin D is actually a hormone and a fat-soluble nutrient. It is critical for your survival – yes, it’s really that essential. It is often called the “sun vitamin” since the greatest supplier of Vitamin D is the sun. It has a hand in many areas of body functions and its benefits are wide.
Vitamin D’s Super Power Benefits include:
- Increased cognition
- Bone health
- Immune health
- Reduced blood pressure
- Decreases cardiovascular risk
- Reduces chance of colorectal cancer
- Reduces bone fractures
- Aids in fat mass decrease
- Reduces asthma flare ups in children
- Reduces flu risk
- Improves insulin sensitivity and secretion
- Increases lean muscle mass
- Decreases inflammation from lupus
- Aids absorption of calcium
- Decreases symptoms of TB
- Boosts testosterone
- Reduces breast cancer risk
- Reduces risk of Multiple Sclerosis
- Reduces risk of pancreatic cancer
As you can see, we’re definitely dealing with a super vitamin.
So, what can happen when we are dealing with a Vitamin D deficiency?
- Growth can be hindered in children
- Weakened bones leading to fractures and breaks
- Increased risk of several cancers
- Weakened immune system
- Increased illnesses
- Weakened muscles
Unfortunately, a superhero needs to be called upon to help and although Vitamin D is ready for action, the call is not coming in. Millions of people are deficient in Vitamin D. There are a few very good reasons for this, and luckily they are things that can be changed.
2 Reasons Many People are Difficient in Vitamin-D
Reason 1: The first issue is the sun
Yes, the sun is the mighty Vitamin D provider, but humans have been less than receptive to this wonderful benefit as the threat of skin cancer has increased. Sunscreen, clothing to cover from the sun, and just plain staying in the shade has resulted in a huge lack of Vitamin D. While laying out in the sun to increase your Vitamin D absorption isn’t the best idea, simply spending a few minutes a day in the sunshine can make a huge difference in your Vitamin D levels. In fact, just standing outside in the sun for two ten-minute periods is almost enough to meet your recommended daily allowance. Be smart about it – don’t go out in the hottest part of the day. The morning and evening sun are just as effective, yet less harsh.
Reason 2: The second issue is food with Vitamin D.
Foods containing Vitamin D are not the most plentiful. They are there, but not widely used as a part of the average diet and they may still not completely meet the recommended and required daily amount of Vitamin D.
Foods that contain good levels of Vitamin D include:
- Beef Liver
- Egg Yolks
- Swiss Cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
- Sun Grown Mushrooms
Supplementation through a multivitamin like Smarty Pants that is rich in Vitamin-D and all other essential vitamins, minerals and fiber is a great first step. When coupled with eating foods rich in naturally occurring Vitamin-D, you'll make sure you begin to reach the daily recommended minimums. It goes without saying, any supplements you opt to try, do your due diligence and research the company before you start pill popping – not all supplements are created equal (literally).
If you are unsure of your Vitamin-D levels, I highly recommend getting a blood test done so that your GP or Naturopath can recommend a daily Vitamin-D dosage that is perfect for you. When I did this I learned that I was severely Vitamin-D deficient and now take 10,000 IU's per day. It has made such a drastic difference in my overall health and well-being, wish I had been checked for my Vitamin-D levels ages ago. (Better late than never though!)
Vitamin D is, without a doubt, is a superhero vitamin.
The vast and essential ways it can help your body to be strong for not only now, but in the future, are clear. Be sure this superhero vitamin is a part of your daily routine to help make your body super.
If you liked this post, be sure to check out the following in this 6 part series:
- 5 Tricks for Getting Your Kids to Eat their Fruits & Veggies
- 3 Tips for Setting your Family Up for Optimal Health
- Why Families Need Multi-Vitamins
- The Super Hero Vitamin: Vitamin D gives you wings
- Brain Power, Inflammation and the Fish Oil Connection
- Better to Have Health and Not Need It, than Need It and Not Have It
To all my little Hulkamaniacs, say your prayers, take your vitamins and you will never go wrong. ~ Hulk HoganTweet This!
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