Vitamin D has several important functions for our bodies. Whilst regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, it’s also important for the development of bones and teeth as well as fighting against certain diseases. If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, then you’re at risk of multiple health problems, such as fragile bones and teeth problems.
Often called the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D is produced naturally within your body when directly exposed to sunlight, but in countries where there isn’t sun all year round, most people are deficient in vitamin D. Adding vitamin D into your diet has many different benefits for your health, and here are some examples.
As well as its primary benefits, vitamin D can also help reduce the risk of fighting certain diseases. Studies have shown that by getting the recommended daily amount of vitamin D you can reduce your risk of developing flu and the common cold. Often, reports of cold and flu cases are at their highest during the winter months, when natural sunlight is at its lowest. If you boost your vitamin D levels in the winter by taking vitamin D supplements or by eating vitamin D rich foods, you can reduce your chance of catching the common cold.
Vitamin D has been shown to play an important role in regulating your mood and fighting off depression. In one study, researchers found that those suffering from depression who were given vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms. Whilst vitamin D supplements shouldn’t take the place of proper medical advice and treatment, it may be a natural remedy to consider taking, after speaking to your doctor first of course. Interestingly, exposure to natural sunlight has been shown to reduce depression symptoms, which also links to increasing vitamin D levels. If you are going to use the sunlight as a way of increasing your vitamin D intake, then be sure to avoid peak hours of sunlight when UV rays are at their strongest and try limiting your exposure to smaller doses throughout the day.
Boosting Weight Loss
If you’re looking to lose weight, then consider adding vitamin D supplements into your diet. Each and every cell in your body needs vitamin D to function correctly, and this includes fat cells. Special receptors for vitamin D know when they need to burn fat or store it, meanwhile, receptors in your brain need vitamin D to keep hunger cravings in check, as well as pumping levels of the mood-boosting chemical serotonin. By fuelling your body with the amount of vitamin D that it needs, it can potentially speed your weight loss up by 70%. If you naturally add in foods that contain vitamin D, such as fatty fish, eggs and mushrooms, then you’re already slightly improving your diet, as well as increasing your vitamin D levels.