With the freezing temps and winter storms happening across the country currently, we are counting our blessings to be able to enjoy the sunshine and mild temperatures here at Movara! St. George sees about 255 sunny days per year as opposed to the US average of 200. WE LOVE THE SUN! If you are snowed in and stuck indoors, we encourage you to COME SEE US! It is so important to get outside and soak in some sunshine & Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is actually not considered a vitamin in the way it functions. It’s really a hormone that sends signals to many parts of your body. It’s not an essential part of your diet and there aren’t too many foods high in vitamin D – dairy products and fish being a fair source… with beef, cheese, and egg yolks coming in behind them. Vitamin D, however, is essential to your health and the best and most effective way to get (or make) Vitamin D is from the sun.
Recent studies suggest that many adults and children are deficient in Vitamin D. Because sunlight is the best source, those living in part of the world where sun exposure is minimal or who have a dark skin tone may be at risk and should consider supplementation. In parts of the world where sun exposure is adequate, it may be a matter of not getting outside! Vitamin D production is at its peak between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. By spending 10-20 minutes outside in direct sunlight within that time frame, without sunscreen (it’s only 10 minutes!) with your neck, arms, chest, and face exposed 3 times a week, you should be able to make the Vitamin D you need. Many individuals are working during those hours and/or don’t venture outside nearly enough. Taking a break to get some fresh air can have a great effect on your stress levels and productivity, not to mention your Vitamin D production!
If you do consider supplementation, we would recommend having your levels tested first given you can get too much Vitamin D. It’s a simple blood test ordered by your doctor that insurance typically covers. From that result, your doctor can help with dosages for supplementation. There are also certain disease states that can cause or be caused by low vitamin D so be sure to seek medical help and treatment. Vitamin D is known to help with:
- Calcium and magnesium absorption and bone health
- Better immune function (low vitamin D is highly correlated with autoimmune diseases)
- Blood glucose control and lower risk of diabetes
- Cancer prevention
- Reduced risk for high blood pressure and heart disease
- Reduced risk for Multiple Sclerosis
We hope we’ve inspired you to escape the cold and come see us here in sunny Southern Utah where you can soak in plenty of Vitamin D to stay healthy and happy!