5 Reasons Why You Need More Vitamin D In Your Diet
If there’s one thing our primal ancestors got a lot more of than we currently do, it’s fresh air and sunshine, and many current Paleo devotees are forgetting this crucial ingredient in their primal quest for wellness.
You can remove the processed junk from your diet, nosh on fresh veggies and grass-fed meat and hit the gym all you want, but if you’re not getting enough of the “sunshine vitamin”, you may not be feeling as well as you can be.
Before the era of office cubicles and long hours under fluorescent lights, we humans spent a lot of time outdoors, breathing in the crisp clean air and making lots of vitamin D that our bodies needed to be healthy.
But our modern lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to long hours in the sun, so we have to be extra mindful to get enough of this crucial vitamin in our diets.
So how can you tell that you’re running low on vitamin D? Well, if your lifestyle has you cramped indoors a lot, you live in a big city or an area with high pollution, or if you’re a stickler for sunscreen, you may already be predisposed to low D levels.
And if you’ve been experiencing muscle weakness, poor immunity, depressive moods, or a decrease in bone density, you definitely want to get your vitamin D checked out (you can do this with a simple blood test from your doctor).
Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient that our bodies use in thousands of biochemical reactions, and it helps to regulate over 200 genes!
There are many reasons why you may want to boost your own levels of the sunshine vitamin, but here are our top 5!
Stronger muscles and bones
You probably know by now that vitamin D and calcium play well together, and they both are in charge of regulating things like bone density, but did you know how important vitamin D is in fueling your muscles?
Our muscle fibers need vitamins and minerals in order to contract forcefully, relax fully, and have enough stamina to keep this process going when we walk, run, lift weights, and do everyday activities.
Adequate D levels allow your bones to stay strong and your muscles to keep flexing, and supplementing with this vitamin can help you get in shape and boost your endurance.
That’s right, you can think of the term “sunshine vitamin” in more than one way: we need sunshine to make it, and it helps to make our moods sunnier too!
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters that regulate our emotions (like serotonin), and the lack of sunshine is one of the reasons why many people experience depression during the winter months.
If you have been experiencing blue moods and can’t figure out why, your brain may be asking for more sunshine. You may be surprised at how dramatic the effects of vitamin D supplementation can be!
Fewer aches and pains
Research has shown that people who experience whole-body pain and discomfort may end up with a misdiagnosis of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, when actually they’re “just” severely low in vitamin D!
Since this vitamin regulates bone mass as well as muscle stamina, if you’re deficient in it, you may be dealing with unexplained aches, tenderness and fatigue, which can range from mild to severe.
Boosting your D levels can support your musculoskeletal system and take pressure off of nerve endings, resulting in less pain, more mobility, and better quality of life.
Are you the kind of person that always seems to catch whatever bug is floating around at the moment? You may simply be vitamin D deficient!
This super vitamin supports your immune system and helps to create certain antibacterial proteins in your body, which are part of your first line of defense when an invader is present.
If you’re low in D, your initial defense system may be weakened, allowing more bugs to get through to actually cause symptoms.
While a clean diet, plenty of sleep, and stress reduction practices are also helpful in boosting your immune system, it’s not complete without the sunshine vitamin!
Decreased risk of disease
Vitamin D research is still going strong, and the studies are piling up that show significant links between vitamin D levels and risk for things like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer.
While the exact mechanisms are still unknown, vitamin D has been shown to lower blood pressure, increase flexibility of blood vessels, inhibit cancer cell growth and reduce whole-body inflammation.
Especially for people who already have a chronic illness, or have several risk factors, vitamin D supplementation may be a fantastic investment in their overall health!
About The Author:
Melani Schweder is a writer and wellness advocate based in Denver, CO. Soon after graduating with her B.S. in Health and Human Sciences from Colorado State University, she became very ill and has been navigating the healthcare system ever since. After trying every diet, medication, and therapy under the sun, she discovered the Paleo lifestyle, which she credits for much of her healing. She’s happy to report that after 6 years of living with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, she is on the road to recovery! Sharing her story and her tips on how to heal illness the Paleo way are the things she is most passionate about, followed closely by Bulletproof coffee, yoga pants, and her dog, River. You can read her work at www.abrighterwild.com.