Vitamin D is the type of fat that our body makes when our skin gets exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency is common for most people in the winter months because they experience less sun exposure. A busy lifestyle like working long hours in an office job and daily tasks can limit many adults’ outdoor time. As we become adults, getting Vitamin D from the sun gets more challenging than when we were outside playing on the playground. Direct sunlight and consuming the correct type of foods are ways to gain more Vitamin D into your body. Pay attention to how your body is feeling during this time of the year to know the signs.
The colder months are when many people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression. Since Vitamin D helps our brain function, a lack of it can cause issues with our mental health. Exposing your body to the sun for a certain amount of time increases your serotonin, a hormone that makes you feel happy and boost your mood. A leveled serotonin can help you with your sleep cycle and help prevent insomnia. Mental health is more than just managing your thoughts. Your body needs level hormone balance so that your brain is in a suitable mental space.
Spending 10-30 minutes several times a week in the sun can help your body get the right amount of Vitamin D. Depending on your skin tone, how much Vitamin D you lack, and other factors can determine how much sun exposure you need.
People with more melanin and less melanin can suffer from Vitamin D deficiency from the sun and the lack of food they consume. If you have more pigment in your skin, getting Vitamin D from the sun is essential as they are more prone to be Vitamin D deficient.
Low Energy Levels
Low energy levels make you feel unproductive throughout the day and hinder you from having a quality life. Fatigued is a slow slippery start to mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Some people do not realize that they are tired because they are deficient in Vitamin D. Without Vitamin D, your body cannot generate energy. Mitochondria, a part of a cell that creates energy, works with Vitamin D to deliver oxygen to various parts of your body. Your brain needs oxygen for it to function at it is best. There have been many studies that show that low blood levels of Vitamin D cause fatigue. Taking supplements is one way that you can increase your Vitamin D levels.
One of the common misconceptions some people are unaware of is that there are two types of Vitamin D supplements, D2 and D3. D2 comes from plants, and D3 derives from animals. Studies have shown that D3 is suitable for those not getting enough sunlight. It is still unclear if one supplement works better than the other. The strength of a supplement is a critical factor in how effective it is in your body. You can find the power of a supplement next to the IU on the bottle.
You only get muscle pain going to the gym and lifting weights. Muscle pain can be one of the signs that you lack Vitamin D. Severe back and joint pain from lack of Vitamin D leaves some people at risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis. RA is a result of inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues.
By taking vitamin supplements, you can help the risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoporosis, which causes bones to weaken. Besides taking supplements, you can exercise outside to get more Vitamin D from the sun and get your heart pumping.
Food that helps you get vitamin D
Food is another way to get more Vitamin D into your bloodstream. Combining healthy foods with time spent in the sun will help you become more Vitamin D efficient. Include foods like tuna, mackerel, and salmon into your diet. For breakfast, incorporate soy milk, orange juice, and cereals. Remember, you can get vitamin D from plant-based foods and animal sources to still eat meats like the beef liver.
Your location and lifestyle play a significant role in the amount of sun you get every day. As you work, keep a sun lamp in your office space. It will help you maintain the health of your skin, regulate melatonin and serotonin.
The winter blues are tough for many people, but remember that maintaining good mental and physical health is all about balance. If you suffer from Vitamin D deficiency, remember that it can take months to increase it.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor so that you can do a blood test to determine if you are Vitamin D deficient. A blood test is one of the best ways to see how your body functions so that you know the proper steps to take for your health.