The Health Benefits of Vitamin D
By Sara Butler
If you're looking to support a healthy immune system, then there's one thing you may be overlooking to do just that: soak up the sunshine. Vitamin D is created by your body when it's exposed to the sun. Of course, Vitamin D comes from other sources too, such mushrooms, eggs, fatty fish, and dairy products. But aside from perking up your immune system, Vitamin D has some great benefits to your health. Here are a few.
Better Bone Density
In some studies, Vitamin D has been found to have a positive impact on bone health. That's because your body needs Vitamin D to better absorb calcium, which is why you find many dairy products fortified with Vitamin D. If you don't have enough Vitamin D, then your body can't absorb enough calcium and that can lead to bone weakness, especially as you get older.
Improved Blood Pressure
The heart and cardiovascular system can benefit from adequate Vitamin D, too. That's because when you expose your skin to sunlight, your body releases a compound called nitric oxide. This enters the blood vessels and helps to reduce blood pressure, lowering the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Something about the sunshine just makes you feel better. That's because along with Vitamin D when you expose your skin to the sun your body releases serotonin as well as endorphins. These hormones can help to improve your mood and provide you with more energy.
How Much Sun and Vitamin D?
To get the benefits from the sunshine, you really only need about 10-20 minutes of exposure. It's best to get the sun on your arms, legs, and shoulders instead of your face or back since that reduces the risk of skin cancer as well as sun damage that can lead to wrinkles down the line. After the initial sun exposure, make sure to slap on sunscreen, too.
Also, make sure to include Vitamin D-rich foods in your diet to get the recommended 10-20 micrograms needed per day. Foods high in Vitamin D include things such as:
- Fortified dairy
If you're worried you may be deficient in Vitamin D, then a simple blood test can help determine your levels.
Making sure you get enough Vitamin D is important. Talk to the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic if you want more information.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Houston, Tex.