Although most people do not consider their Vitamin D intake to be a daily concern, this can actually be a make-or-break nutrient for your health. In fact, new research has discovered some incredible and surprising benefits of Vitamin D. The most promising study comes from the University of California at San Diego, where scientists found that higher levels of Vitamin D corresponded with a lower risk of cancer. “Primary prevention of cancer, rather than expanding early detection or improving treatment, will be essential to reversing the current upward trend of cancer incidence worldwide,” the researchers wrote. “This analysis suggests that improving vitamin D status is a key prevention tool.” If that doesn’t make you want to ensure a healthy supply of Vitamin D to your body, I don’t know what will!
Are you deficient in the sunshine vitamin? Here are some signs that you might need more Vitamin D in your daily life:
Fatigue and Excessive Sleepiness
Weakened and Brittle Bones
Excessive Allergy Development
High Blood Pressure
Chronic Pain (especially in the back and joints)
Chronic Gum Disease
As you can tell from the list above, Vitamin D can be as critical to your mental and emotional health as it is to your physical well-being. In fact, it has been suggested that getting your Vitamin D fix may be instrumental in protecting against age-related mental decline. Rutgers University’s Professor Joshua Miller, inspired by observations that low vitamin D is commonly noticed in Alzheimer’s patients, measured Vitamin D levels and cognitive performance in hundreds of elderly subjects over almost a decade. They found that, on average, people with low Vitamin D experienced mental deterioration at two to three times the rate of those with an adequate level of this nutrient.
So, the question remains – how should you address a possible Vitamin D deficiency? Scientists suggest a balanced intake from these three sources:
Eat Vitamin D Rich Food. Bad news for vegans: this list is largely composed of animal products. Fatty fish like tuna and salmon, fortified milk, and egg yolks are all powerful Vitamin D sources.
Get Out and Enjoy the Sunshine! Spending time in the sun is another great way to get Vitamin D, and is the source most strongly associated with this nutrient. Do this in moderation to avoid premature aging and skin cancer.
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Take a Supplement. If you are a vegan with sun-sensitive skin, there is still another way! There are a wide variety of Vitamin D supplements on the market from which to choose. There are two forms of these: Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. Although both are fine, Vitamin D3 is closer to the nutrient our bodies naturally produce in the sun.
The benefits of this often underrated nutrient do not end with strong bones and an improved state of mind. Researchers from the MS Society Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair recently found that Vitamin D could be instrumental in repairing nerve damage in patients who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis. For those who have seen the damage this disease is capable of, this is huge news. Get your Vitamin D fix today using one of the methods above. Your body, mind, and overall health are sure to benefit.