Why is vitamin D so important?
Known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is important for good health. Lack of sunshine throughout the winter can create Vitamin D deficiencies as well as a number of other symptoms. Vitamin D assists in the absorption of calcium and promotes bone mineralization, which may prevent or slow the progression of osteoporosis. It also helps to strengthen the immune system and protects against a number of serious diseases, including rickets and osteopenia. Research suggests vitamin D may also provide protection from hypertension, psoriasis, several autoimmune diseases (including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis) and reduce the incidence of fractured bones. In addition, it is important in defending against cancer (studies link a deficiency of vitamin D to as many as 18 different cancers).
How does vitamin D help my mood?
Getting a daily dose of sunshine is very healthy for you. Spending just 10 to 15 minutes a day in the sun can help you get an adequate supply of vitamin D. Another benefit of sun exposure is that it helps produce more serotonin, endorphins and melatonin in the brain. Endorphins and serotonin are brain chemicals linked with feeling good and peace of mind. Melatonin is a nocturnal brain chemical that allows you to enter into sleep-mode more quickly at bedtime. In addition, experts have found that the sun is good for you because it helps you produce more white blood cells, which enhances your immunity. Sun exposure also helps you produce more red blood cells, which means your blood becomes more oxygenated.
How much is enough?
Most people benefit from about 20 minutes of sun exposure, once your skin starts to turn pinkish you’ve got all the vitamin D that you can from the sun for that day.
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