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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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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