Feature image from ITPANDME
We should be striving for a healthy lifestyle that naturally includes a variety of foods and activities that enables us to get a rich assortment of vitamins and minerals without even thinking about it. This sort of diversity rich diet should be a daily habit for us all. Unfortunately it is not. Habits are made by practice and conscious thought. So lets take a moment to create a few habits that will ensure we always have enough Vitamin D in our system.
What can Vitamin D do for you?
- Improve your Mood – Did you know that platelets carry a small amount of serotonin through your blood stream to various receptors in your body? With a very low platelet count, there is no way you are getting the same serotonin absorption as others. Serotonin is what contributes to a positive happy mood. Without as much Serotonin, it is important to not let yourself get too sad. Vitamin d can help you there, as a natural mood elevator it can help you maintain a positive outlook.
- Strengthen your bones – Vitamin D is directly related to bone health, which cannot be over looked. Your bones are not simply the scaffolding of you body, but living changing tissue that produces blood from its marrow. Vitamin D keeps your bones strong and healthy – which is where all your platelets are going to be produced.
- Tone your muscles – Vitamin D is believed to improve muscle tone and strength, as there are vitamin D receptors in striated muscle, and Vitamin D appears to play a role in the signalling that is responsible for muscle protein synthesis.
The Top 5 ways increase your Vitamin D, Naturally
- Sunshine – This is the cheapest, easiest and most publicly accessible form to Vitamin D. It is also my favourite. But the sun has been getting a lot of bad publicity over the years, leading to people shying away from a lazy afternoon nap in the sun. You do not need to be out in the sun, uncovered for hours to get the benefit of Vitamin D, instead just head out for 10 minutes at a time, go for a walk, read the paper in the sunshine, bbq, open all the curtains and let the sunshine in. Alternatively, you could fly to Fiji or Bali for a few weeks – for your health of course.
- Fatty fish – For example Salmon, Trout, Orange Roughy, Anchovies, Tuna and Whitebait. There are many more to choose from but I have just listed my favourites. There are a lot of reasons to be eating more fatty fish such as naturally occurring fish oil and Omega 3. It is a fantastic Paleo option for those are interested in eating a Paleo Diet.
- Whole Un-homogenized Milk– Full cream or full fat milk does contain a very small amount of Vitamin D, probably the lowest of all the suggested food sources, but I have included it here for a very specific reason. That is the combination of Calcium and Vitamin D in this tasty, fatty and filling food item. One must be very thorough in order to get enough of both Vitamin D and Calcium to get the best results, and while there might not be a huge amount of Vitamin D found in full cream milk, you can be sure that with all that Calcium your body will absorb every single gram of it.
- Free Range Eggs – So I have to tell you that all the good stuff is in the yolk. All of the fat-soluble vitamins such as A, E, D and K are there. While there is a large number of foods for meat eaters to consume that contain vitamin D, there are a lot less options for Vegetarians. The egg yolk is one of the few foods naturally containing Vitamin D and should not be discarded in favour of it’s more slimming, protein-rich white. There is also a notable amount of Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium, which we should be taking as well.
Mushrooms – Mushrooms a good source for vitamin D, and that you can naturally multiply their levels by exposing them to sunlight? They actually have the capacity to absorb the vitamin D in sunlight, much like our own skin. Next time you are cooking with mushrooms, leave them in the sunshine before you cook with them and they will have charged like a battery, ready to be consumed. Dried Mushroom that have been dried in the sun are the very best choice – Shiitake mushrooms are particularly high in Vitamin D.
Taking Prednisone? Get Vitamin D!
When I started to come to terms with just how much long term damage Pred was doing to my system I was alarmed, to say the least. I was already taking Calcium to make up for the deficit created by taking pred. But did you know that in order to metabolise calcium in your body and use it to benefit your bones, you need to be getting enough Vitamin D? Taking Caltrate, or any other single calcium supplement without enough Vitamin D is a total waste of time!