It’s the season of gingerbread lattes, mittens, and scraping frost off your car in the morning. It’s also cold and flu season which means advice for staying healthy and keeping virus’ at bay is never-ending.
One of the most common things we hear this time of year is to make sure we’re taking Vitamin D supplements but, is there any truth behind it?
Vitamin D is produced by the body when we are exposed to sunlight so it makes sense that we might be deficient during the colder and cloudier winter months. Our bodies cannot produce it without sunlight and it is estimated that sensible sun exposure on bare skin for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times per week allows most people to produce sufficient Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is not only important for our immune systems during the winter but it also plays a vital role in bone-building, cognitive function, joint health, immune function, blood sugar control, positive mood, and more.
Studies have even suggested that many of us are deficient in Vitamin D. A serious deficiency will show itself through symptoms like being sick frequently, feeling tired or fatigued often, having bone and back pain, depression, bone loss, hair loss, and being slow to heal from wounds.
Vitamin D is stored up in our body so having an excess of it can cause problems as well, such as kidney stones.
Recent studies have shown that taking a Vitamin D supplement can help fight off illnesses and asthmas attacks, but still, it’s not universally recommended. Many doctors disagree on whether it’s a good idea to add it to your daily routine. However, the consensus seems to be that taking Vitamin D supplements won’t do you any harm so if you feel concerned that you might be low in Vitamin D, talk to your health professional.
If you’re looking to get more Vitamin D in your diet, you can always add more fortified foods to your diet like tofu, cereal, or yogurt (check the labels to ensure they’re high in Vitamin D).
Looking for more tips on staying healthy this season? Read our post on foods to eat to fight dry skin next!