Vitamin D is a great ally in weight loss as it prevents the growth of fat cells. It also keeps our hormone levels in check, maintains our bones strong, and strengthens our immunodeficiency system protecting us against illness.
On top of that, vitamin D helps to modulate cell growth, reduces inflammation, and improves our neuromuscular and immune function. And if you want to lower your blood pressure, and reduce your risk of diabetes, heart attack, rheumatoid arthritis, or multiple sclerosis: this is the vitamin for you.
Vitamin D Defficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with overweight and obesity-related complications as it releases hunger-stimulating hormones. Therefore, we gain weight and even eat more. Without sufficient vitamin D, children are likely to suffer rickets, and adults to develop osteoporosis or osteomalacia (bone softening).
But, as a matter of fact, nearly all of us meet our vitamin D needs through sun exposure. However, time of day, length of day, cloud cover, smog, skin melanin content, and sunscreen affect UV radiation exposure and vitamin D synthesis. Just remember that’s recommendable to limit exposure to sunlight to avoid skin cancer; 10 to 15 minutes a day will do.
Where to find Vitamin D
Vitamin D is found in very few foods, such as the flesh of fatty fish (salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and fish liver oils. Other foods with small amounts of vitamin D are beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks.
That’s why most of our vitamin D intake comes from fortified foods (nutrients added to food), such as milk, orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and other. If you’d like to know more, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans provides a detailed list of the foods containing vitamin D and their nutrimental information.
A healthy eating pattern that includes vitamin D:
- Includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, and oils.
- Includes a variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), nuts, seeds, and soy products.
- Limits saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium.
Too Much Vitamin D Can Be Harmful
Vitamin D needs depend on body size. If you want to take a vitamin-D supplement, ask your MD first if you really need it and in which amounts.
According to a survey published by Reuters, one of five Americans are currently taking vitamin D supplements, and a growing number are taking excessive doses thinking they’re improving their health.
A research carried out by Pamela Lutsey, a public health researcher at the University of Minnesota, have found that an excessive intake of vitamin D can be harmful, as it can cause overabsorption of calcium that can lead to detrimental deposition of calcium in soft tissues, such as the heart and kidneys.
That’s why it’s important to get only the recommended dose: 600 IU (15 mcg) of vitamin D per day for adults 19–70 years old.
Remember that your health should be your No. 1 concern, so #DecideItNow and make necessary change in your daily life to achieve it.