Most people know that vitamin D is an essential part of our nutrition, but few know why or how we get it. Sunshine helps in the production of vitamin D, so it follows that winter is a time of need for this essential nutrient. With less sunshine due to shorter days and cooler weather, winter can be a serious problem for people who are vitamin D deficient. In fact, it is thought that a lack of vitamin D contributes to such health issues as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, rickets and dementia, to name a few.
While some people are vitamin D deficient anyway, the winter season further affects vitamin D production in all of us. Here are some of the more prominent ways:
If the days are shorter, as they are during the winter months, then you have less opportunity to be exposed to the sun’s beneficial rays. Studies have shown that shorter days means that you are outside less than usual.
When the winter season is upon us, clouds are a common occurrence due to weather patterns in many parts of the world. If it is cloudy, you are going to only get a portion of the vitamin D producing rays that you would on a bright day.
Bad weather will be common during the winter season and cause plenty of people to stay indoors. If you are indoors, you have little to no chance of getting sunshine even if you are lucky enough to have the sun peek through.
Who is at risk?
People with darker skin are more likely to suffer from this problem. Additionally, those who are elderly or pregnant are susceptible as well. Anyone who is regularly avoiding the sun will be in a serious high-risk group for deficiency.
Despite the winter season, many people stay rich in vitamin D through summertime sunbathing. A very important factor is to keep sunblock on throughout. The sun can harm as quickly as it can heal. Still, a good sun bath can do wonders for your vitamin D reserve. Getting out when you can and enjoying the sun safely is a wonderful way to deal with this problem. Here are some other tips and tricks to boost your vitamin D production in the winter:
- Take advantage of the sun when it does appear. The last thing you want to do is stay inside when you get the chance to be outside in the sunshine.
- If you wish to eat your way there, you will have a tough time. Still, oily fish like mackerel and herring are the best sources available. Make sure you eat your share of these if you are vitamin D deficient.
- Eggs and yogurts are particularly good sources of Vitamin D. The only item in the produce section that’s going to give you a dose of Vitamin D is mushrooms, so be sure to toss some in your cart.
- If you’re not going to get enough Vitamin D production from the sun or from food alone (most of us won’t), oral supplements can be an effective choice.
Although vitamin D deficiency does not get as much attention as some other health or nutrient deficiencies, it is still an important one. During the winter season is when it likes to poke its ugly head up and get noticed.
Where to Buy Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D supplements can be purchased at your local health food store. This month Healthy Planet has Carlson Vitamin D 1000 IU 100 Softgels on sale for just $3.99.
About the Author:
Chrystal Johnson, publisher of Happy Mothering and founder of Green Moms Media, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former marketing manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family’s life. She enjoys sharing those discoveries with anyone who’s willing to listen. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.