Here we are in August, with the summer at its peak, and we are blessed to still have long days of sunlight and warm summer weather, which is allowing us to stay outdoors longer, travel more, and be active. For that matter, it is only right for us to discuss some key talking points of Vitamin Sunshine or as other may refer to it, Vitamin D ☀️😎
How many times have you been to the doctor over the years and have been told that “you are Vitamin D deficient” or that “you need to take vitamin D supplements” to increase your levels? These words oftentimes leaves us feeling defeated, helpless, or confused, especially when we know we spend what we think is enough time outside to have the right levels of Vitamin D.
“What are the benefits of Vitamin D?”, one might ask. Or, “How much time should I spend outside in the sun to get enough?” “Can I get Vitamin D through my diet?” All of these are great questions, and quite frankly, questions that should be asked. As a Holistic Nutritionist, these questions also allow me to know that you are all conscious and serious about your health.
“What are the benefits of Vitamin D?”
Well, since you asked…Vitamin D:
☀️Improves calcium absorption in the gut. Not to mention, Vitamin D and calcium goes hand-in-hand (you need one to absorb/enable the other) so make sure you also have a sufficient intake of calcium in your diet!
☀️Enables your body’s ability to use calcium to build our teeth and bones.
☀️Encourages new skin cell growth and proliferation
☀️Can help correct skin diseases like vitiligo, lupus Bulgaria, and psoriasis.
☀️Improves brain and immune function.
☀️Keeps your endocrine system in sync with the day’s cycle.
“How much time should I spend outside in the sun to get enough?”
If you have melanin rich skin like myself ✨ or are above the age of 60, and are vitamin D deficient, you need *at least* 30 minutes per day of sunlight to naturally improve your vitamin D levels.
If you have less melanated pigments in your skin, are under the age of 60, and vitamin D deficient, you require less sunlight, needing at least 15 minutes per day, to improve your vitamin D levels.
“Can I get Vitamin D through my diet?”
Our diet should always serve as the basis of our nutritive needs. In other words, we should always look at our diet as a starting point when we lack certain vitamins or minerals. A diet based on Whole Foods (heavy on plants and rich in fiber) encourages your body’s natural detoxification systems as well as provides you with a wealth of the nutrients you need on a daily basis.
“So what specific foods include vitamin D?”
In addition to sun exposure, other good sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, mushrooms (i.e. shiitake), fatty fish, fortified foods, and pasture -raised eggs (factory-farmed eggs only have 1/8 the vitamin D). Keep in mind, dietary supplements can be helpful, however, not as a replacement for a good diet, but as insurance. You can learn more about the best way to obtain vitamin D here.
Check out my meal plans and recipe collections for healthy and tasty plant based ideas to balance your diet and increase your overall vitamin/mineral intake!
Want a personalized meal plan for your specific health/nutrition goals and needs? No problem! Click here to schedule a FREE 20 minute Discovery Call with Rob, our Holistic Nutritionist and Wellness Coach.