It's easy to hear in the media the importance of Vitamin D. Do we really understand why it is important and the function that this vitamin plays in the body? Let's take a look to see how valuable Vitamin D is an how we can be sure to get enough of it.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin which means it is found in foods with fat and as the body breaks down the fat it is able to absorb the vitamin. The important part to know about this is that the fat is important to help the body absorb the vitamin. This means consuming healthy fats is vitally important to your health. If you are on a low fat diet you may want to reconsider this and see how you can incorporate healthy fats such as butter from grass fed cows, virgin olive oil, and avocado oil.
Our immune system such as T-cells and macrophages are enhanced with Vitamin D. With COVID-19 on many people's mind Vitamin D could be especially helpful because it helps the immune system fight respiratory illnesses. It is easy to make the connection between the common cold, pneumonia, and respiratory infections and how they increase during the winter months when we do not receive as much Vitamin D from the sunlight.
Vitamin D also has other functions besides strengthening our immune system. It helps fight against cancer by cleaning out damaged cells which is a major cause for developing cancer cells. Our brain function can improve when we have adequate Vitamin D. Many brain deficiency such as Alzheimer's, autism, depression, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, and stroke can be prevented or improve when a person has enough Vitamin D. In addition out joints and bones are healthier because Vitamin D allows the body to use Calcium and Phosphorous more effectively.
There are more benefits for getting enough Vitamin D. Let's explore some of the ways we can find it. One of the easiest and cheapest is the sunshine. We often have concerns of the harmful effects of sunlight. These are realistic concerns but with some caution we can use the sun to our benefit. To safely absorb Vitamin D from sunlight begin by spending 2-3 minutes in direct sunlight the first day. Each day after add one minute. Pay attention because you do not want to burn your skin which is when damage is done that could lead to skin cancer. Salmon, tuna, and mackerel as well as egg yolks, mushrooms, and cod liver oil are all great foods and supplements to consume Vitamin D.