Almost 1 billion people across the world have a vitamin D deficiency! Wowza! hat is a LOT of people. And it’s a big deal, because vitamin D does a LOT of things to keep us feeling healthy. Keep reading to find out what the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are and a few things you can do to help boost your vitamin D by the end of the day!

What Does Vitamin D Do?

You probably already know your body needs vitamin D to build and maintain strong bones over the course of your life. But is does so much more than that! Vitamin D works like a hormone in your system, helping your body’s immune, digestive, circulatory, and nervous systems do their jobs.

Scientists are also looking into how vitamin D might help prevent diseases such as depression, diabetes, cancer, and even heart problems.

Signs & Symptoms of Low Vitamin D

If you’re low in vitamin D, you may experience one or more of the following:

  • You often feel rundown and tired
  • You are highly prone to catching colds & bugs
  • You feeling depressed
  • You’re experiencing hair loss

The thing is, getting enough vitamin D can be kind of tricky because not many foods are naturally high in vitamin D.

Risk Factors for D Deficiency

The following individuals tend to be at risk for being vitamin D deficiency :

  • Older adults
  • Overweight individuals
  • People with dark skin
  • Those who live farthest from the equator
  • People who use sunscreen every time they go out
  • Folks who stay inside too often
  • Those with a diet low in fish or dairy

How to Get More Vitamin D

There’s a ton of debate about how much vitamin D you need, with different health/medicine groups recommending anywhere from 600 to 2,000 IUs per day. Instead of focusing on the numbers, aim to get MORE than you do now. Here’s how:

  1. Get some sunshine. Yes, even though we are told to avoid sun exposure, it doesn’t take much to raise your vitamin D level. Research shows that as little as 8 to 15 minutes of exposure is all you need (people who live farther from the equator or who have darker skin might need more time).
  2. Eat your eggs (especially the yolks). Studies show that free-range chickens that eat a diet of grain fortified with vitamin D have more than the daily requirement of the vitamin. Be sure to check your labels.
  3. Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna, and mackerel (including canned varieties) contain vitamin D. Whenever possible, choose wild-caught fish (according to Healthline, farmed salmon contains only 25 percent of the vitamin D of wild-caught salmon). BONUS: these foods are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health.
  4. Choose fortified foods. Most cow’s milk has been fortified with vitamin D – and now, so have most non-dairy milks (which I prefer)! Again, be sure to check the label. Fortified milks are a perfect addition to a healthy smoothie!
  5. Ask your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement. It’s always a good idea to check with your doc before adding a new supplement to your routine. Give them a call to see what they recommend for your unique situation, and to see if they want to test your level before recommending a dosage.

If you have a deficiency, raising them back to normal levels can make a huge difference in your energy level and your mood! So it’s definitely worth checking out.

Stronger for Today,

The Method3 Fitness Team

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