Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ due to your skin producing this vitamin as a reaction to sunlight. Your body naturally produces vitamin D during this process when exposed to sunlight, which is a great way to increasing your vitamin D stores. However, if you’re not a sun worshipper or get much access to sun where you live then certain foods and supplements can ensure your vitamin D levels are topped up! We have plenty of sun here at the Fresh Start Fitness and health bootcamp. But we make sure our guests are covered in the hottest parts of the day and we can get our Vitamin D when the sun is at it’s safest levels.
The role of vitamin D is vital to immune system function and controlling the absorption of calcium and phosphorous. Keeping your vitamin D levels up in your blood count is important for overall growth, development and maintenance of bones and teeth. Vitamin D will also encourage and improving a fight against certain diseases. If your body is lacking in this vitamin then you are at a higher risk of these functions failing. In extreme cases people can develope abnormalities such as osteoporosis and serious diseases.
Vitamin D and depression
Health and wellbeing certainly includes having a healthy mind. Vitamin D receptors have been found in many parts of the brain which means this vitamin has an importance presence there and job to do. Vitamin D specific receptors have been found in parts of the brain that is linked to the development of depression. One theory is that vitamin D affects the amount of serotonin that is produced and used in the brain. Many anti-depressant medications work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain which is why vitamin D has been linked to help treat depression.
Higher levels of Vitamin D has also been found in men with superior memory function and information processing abilities than those with lower vitamin D count. I would suggest you ask your doctor for a blood test to inform you of your vitamin levels. This would be important to do as you can then adjust your diet and lifestyle to ensure your sunshine vitamin count is high.
As mentioned earlier vitamin D is important to regulate the immune system, increasing your intake of this vitamin will help support your natural defences against colds, flu, infections and so forth. Colorado and Massachusetts researchers found that participants in their study with smaller amounts of vitamin D in their bloodstream were over 30% more likely to have had a recent infection than those whose blood tests indicated higher levels of vitamin D.
Furthermore, people with the lowest levels of vitamin D have an increased potential to die from heart disease, 64% greater risk of heart attacks, and 57% higher chance of early death than those with the highest vitamin D levels. Adding vitamin D-rich foods like salmon, kale, orange juice and organic milk to your shopping list can certainly better your odds. Don’t drink to much milk though as it is mucous forming and many people are lactose intolerant. So wisely choose your Vitamin D food sources. Here are Fresh Start we love our kale salad which is freshly prepared by our Radiance restaurant staff.
You can find Phillip Day here www.credence.org to read about the further benefits of vitamin D and how to supplement your diet to improve your intake. He is a leading independent researcher that is dedicated to reporting contentious issues that may harm the public. Vitamin D, its benefits and its side effects to deficiencies is well noted on his site.
Along these lines it is generally suggested that 80-100 ng/ml is the ideal level to aim for. I’ve heard some experts even recommend higher levels.
Sun screen problem
Many people cover themselves in sunscreen due to the skin cancer fear factor that has been perpetrated throughout mainstream society. This has therefore posed a difficult challenge for some people to naturally reach optimum Vitamin D levels.
Avoiding the sun at all costs and longer periods in doors with social media, work and leisure has certainly created a vitamin D deficiency. There are safe practices that can be followed to ensure your body is naturally receiving vitamin D and your levels are topped up without fearing the sun.
Our Fresh Start philosophy
Both Richard and I take vitamin D supplements to encourage a build-up of stored levels and increase our chances of a strong body defence mechanism. We of course use sunscreen but try to apply natural ingredients to our skin and avoid mass produced sunscreens that can be cariogenic as well as include other harmful toxins. We certainly promote a healthy well rounded diet and lifestyle that ensures we don’t purely rely on the sun for our Vitamin D fix.
I think that people are beginning to wake up to the importance of getting natural Vitamin D on their skin from the sun. However, well informed people are being sensible about the length of sun exposure and the best times of the day to sunbathe when the sun isn’t at it’s hottest. The dangers of toxic sunscreens are now being reported in the mainstream media. Just yesterday the Mail reported a story of two mothers that do no use toxic sunscreens on their children. This is something that Richard and I agree with.
Something we often discuss as Fresh Start boot camp is the ability to adapt your nutritional intake to match your health and fitness lifestyle. You will learn the importance of including vitamin D in your way of life when you attend our boot camp holiday in Chiang Mai Thailand. At our boot camp holiday in Chiang Mai we promote making small changes such as adjusting nutritional intake as well as improving an exercise action plan to help set up and reach goals.
Louise from Fresh Start.
If you would like to get top up your Vitamin D levels and get fitter and healthier than why not book a healthy holiday with Fresh Start!
Here is the link to our booking page!