As the sunny days start to hit, it’s time for you to get your dose of vitamin D. We produce vitamin D as a response to sun exposure, but in the not so sunny UK, it’s estimated that at least 1 in 5 of us have low levels of vitamin D.
So why do we need vitamin D? Well it’s pretty important for calcium absorption and bone health. It is recommended that you should take 10 micrograms (400 IU) of vitamin D per day — but some people may need heavier doses to reach and maintain healthy blood levels.
How to get vitamin D:
Get out into the sun!
Just jumping into the sun for half an hour can be enough for some lighter-skinned individuals, however people with darker skin need to spend more time in the sun to produce vitamin D. That’s because darker skin has more melanin, a compound that can inhibit vitamin D production
Supplement using vitamins
Using a vitamin D supplement is a quick and easy way to ensure you get your daily dose. This will ensure you regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy.
If you’re someone who gets a small amount of sunshine exposure, for example; if you work in an office or stay inside for most of the day, you will not be getting enough sunshine even through summer. Vitamin D is fat-soluble, so you may only need to take it once every few days during summer.
During winter, it’s especially recommended to supplement vitamin D each day as the sun is not strong enough for the body to make vitamin D.
It can be difficult to know what to eat on a vegan diet to get vitamin D. We’re big advocates on getting it from the mushroom. They taste amazing and they can be made into some amazing things like vegan steaks, nuggets, or can just be a great replacement for chicken in fajitas!
A lot of mushrooms such as the chestnut mushroom even come labeled for a high vitamin D content.
Benefits of vitamin D:
Improve growth and bone health
Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for several things. Primarily, it helps the normal growth and development of bones and teeth but also helps improve resistance against certain diseases. This is done by regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and facilitating normal immune system function.
Along with the bone-building benefits, vitamin D also plays an important part in strengthening muscles. A lack of vitamin D has been linked with having weak muscles, which in turn increases the risk of muscle injury, and even falls in the elderly.
Help symptoms of depressions
Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and improving symptoms of depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression noticed an improvement in their symptoms when supplementing with vitamin D.
Treat high blood pressure According to a review published in 2019, vitamin D may play a role in the treatment of high blood pressure—one of the markers of cardiovascular disease. Due to the high correlation between vitamin D and hypertension, vitamin D supplementation may help in the treatment of high blood pressure.