Do you feel happier after a day in the sun? There’s a reason for that: Vitamin D!
How Vitamin D is Produced:
When your body is exposed to sunlight, the sun’s rays interact with cholesterol in your skin cells, providing the necessary energy for vitamin D synthesis to occur.
8-15 minutes of sun per day is generally sufficient for making plenty of Vitamin D. Just be sure to protect yourself from overexposure to sunlight.
Vitamin D is one of only 2 vitamins that your body can produce on its own!
Benefits of Vitamin D:
- One of the great benefits of Vitamin D is that it facilitates immune function. It has been linked to reducing risk of multiple sclerosis by the Journal of the American Medical Association, decreasing chances of developing heart disease by Circulation, and reducing the likelihood of developing the flu by American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- Vitamin D also plays a role in mood regulation and has proven to be effective in improving symptoms of depression.
- Vitamin D has been shown to encourage weight loss, likely due to its appetite-suppressing effect.
Other Ways to Get Vitamin D:
If you can’t find the time to soak up some sun, or simply don’t live in a sunny place, there are a few Vitamin D rich foods you can include in your diet. These include tuna, mackerel, oysters, shrimp sardines, and anchovies, mushrooms, egg yolks, and foods fortified with Vitamin D. You can also try a supplement. For most people, 1,000-4,000 IU is considered a safe daily dose, but you should consult a physician prior to adding any supplements to your daily regimen.
Now that Summer is officially here, us Houstonians should have no problem getting our Vitamin D in!
Happy (and safe) sun soaking, everyone!