The body produces vitamin D as a response to sun exposure. The best way to increase vitamin D levels in the body is by exposing bare skin to the sun for about 5-10 minutes 2-3 times a week. Living in the Northeast, it is unlikely that people are getting enough vitamin D and may need to consume fortified food or supplements.
Having enough vitamin D is essential for several reasons:
- Support the health of the brain, immune system, and nervous system. Supplementing with vitamin D during the winter months may reduce the risk of influenza.
- Maintain strong bones and teeth by regulating calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood.
- Support lung function and cardiovascular health
- Regulate insulin levels and manage diabetes. Insufficient levels of vitamin D in people with type 2 diabetes may negatively affect insulin secretion and glucose tolerance.
- Pregnant women who are deficient in vitamin D may be at higher risk of developing preeclampsia and require a cesarean section.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may include depression, fatigue, hair loss, muscle pain, and painful bones and back. The most accurate way to measure vitamin D levels is a blood test.
Although sunlight is the most efficient source of vitamin D, there are natural ways to increase vitamin D. Foods that provide vitamin D include:
- Fatty fish, such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon
- Foods fortified with vitamin D, include some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals
- Beef liver
- Egg yolks
Quote of the week:
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” ~ Martin Luther King
Recipe of the Week: Smoked Salmon Appetizer
- 1 pre-baked pizza shell (I used Stonefire Artisan Thin Crust Pizza)
- Herbed cheese or creme fresh
- Fresh snipped dill
- Smoked salmon.
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees; place pizza shell on rack for 8-10 minutes. Remove shell to cutting board and smear cheese all over crust in a thin layer. Sprinkle generously with capers. Arrange salmon on top, snip dill over entire top. Cut into 16 sections and serve at room temperature. You can also cut into little squares