Many people associate vitamin D with sunshine and bone health, and they are certainly correct about that. What many people don’t know, however, is that vitamin D can also help with depression, pain relief, and even protection from disease!
What’s more, a lot of people aren’t getting enough of this vital vitamin. Whether it’s because of a lack of time outside in the sun, or a reduced ability to absorb the vitamin, there are ways you can ensure you are getting enough through the foods you eat.
Read on for ways vitamin D can help your body work efficiently, and how to get your daily dose.
Disease fighting vitamin
Vitamin D is an important part of keeping your body safe from disease. (1)
- According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it can reduce your risk of multiple sclerosis.
- In a research study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was revealed that vitamin D can decrease your chance of catching the flu.
- In the medical journal Circulation, a study showed that getting enough vitamin D reduces your chance of developing heart disease.
Pain fighting power
Did you know that vitamin D can assist you in easing pain?
Dr. Greg Plotnikoff, senior consultant with the Allina Center for Health Care Innovations said that increasing vitamin D intake helps with pain relief for those experiencing chronic pain. (2)
“Every tissue in our bodies has vitamin D receptors, including all bones, muscles, immune cells, and brain cells,” he explained. He published a study in 2003 demonstrating how vitamin D levels and chronic pain are related. The study showed that patients who significantly elevate their vitamin D intake no longer experience chronic pain and fatigue.
Depression fighting D
There is some promising research indicating that increasing vitamin D intake can help relieve depression. Studies reported in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine are pointing to a link. In addition, researchers in Canada reviewed several studies (with more than 31,000 participants) and discovered a significant correlation between depression and lack of vitamin D. Lower vitamin D levels were correlated with a higher rate of depression. (3)
Getting your daily dose of D
If it’s deep winter and you are stuck inside, or you wear a lot of sunscreen when outdoors, you may need to seek other ways to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D.
You can get plenty of this essential vitamin in the foods you eat! Here are the powerhouse sources that pack in the most vitamin D: (4)
- Fortified cereal
- Fortified milk
- Fortified yogurt
- Plain soy yogurt
- Oily fish
- Egg yolk
- Fortified orange juice
So don’t fret if you can’t seem to find enough sunshine time, especially during these winter months. You can stock up your refrigerator and pantry with plenty of vitamin D rich foods and get your daily dose.
However, if you don’t like the un-naturalness of fortified foods, want to stay far way from soy, prefer not to eat meat or eggs or fish, then either move to a different part of the world, or supplement 🙂
Antonia is a science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition. She has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. Read more by Antonia here, and SUBSCRIBE!