Today, we are talking about one of the most essential micronutrients our body needs. Vitamin D is used in the body to absorb calcium and create strong healthy bones. There is scientific research providing evidence that Vitamin D can lower the risk of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and multiple sclerosis. There are even more benefits to this vitamin that are still being researched. Here's why you should include more of it in your lifestyle.
You may know by now that you can get adequate levels of this micronutrient from the sun and being outdoors. Specifically, the UVB rays that the sun emits. Unfortunately, not all Canadians are going outside enough to receive any of the vitamin. Approximately 30% of Canadians are deficient in Vitamin D which could increase ones risk factors for osteoporosis, obesity, and decreased cognitive abilities.
Spending a few moments outside each day can increase your body's ability to make Vitamin D. If you cannot attain this, try incorporating fortified dairy, plant-based products or other items on the shelf where Vitamin D actually gets added to the product. If neither of these options seems reasonable, a multivitamin could be beneficial to your wellbeing. Elders can benefit most from a Vitamin D supplement due to them spending less time in the sun and their increased risk for osteoporosis.
Here if a fun fact, during the Spanish Influenza of 1918, nurses brought hospital patients out into the sunshine and saw a dramatic increase in symptoms. Those who were treated outdoors suffered less than those who did not get any outdoor time. The sun exposure encouraged healing throughout the body.
The current research is debating on how much Vitamin D is needed for your body to see the most benefits. Some say 400 IU while others say 4000 IU. I was once on a vitamin program that recommended I take 6000-8000 IU of liquid Vitamin D per day. When I stuck to this regime, I always felt my best. I encourage you to read the research out there today on this topic.
Now that it is summer time, I will be lessening my Vitamin D supplementation and increasing my time spent outdoors in the sun. Remember that sunscreen is important and each of us will respond differently to UV rays. As someone who is pale and freckly, it is important to gradually increase sun exposure with UV protection.
It is also very important to remember those with increased melanin in the skin (the darker the skin colour, the more melanin in the skin) may have troubles absorbing Vitamin D from sun exposure and most experts would recommend a supplement to fix this issue. There are a number of others factors that can inhibit ones ability to absorb Vitamin D from the sun including, smog, clothing and sunscreen. There is no magic number for you to spend outside each day. I aim for at least one hour of sunshine per day but I usually go for a lot more. I love being warm in the sun.
I hope you learned something today and will start to incorporate more Vitamin D friendly habits into your lifestyle. Whether it is sunshine, fortified food or supplements, it is important to keep this up throughout all seasons of the year.
Thanks for reading everyone.
This is how to flourish!
I have always had this preconceived notion that by the time I finished college I would have my life figured out. To be honest, the more I continue my schooling, the more confused I get with what I want to do in this life. I know what I want my end goal to be but how fast do I need to get there?
There are so many options and so much time.
Do I need to settle down soon?
What is the career I am looking into?
Where do I want to live?
Do I need to start a family?
Who do I want to work with?
Do I travel now? or do I wait until I have kids that have grown up and moved out? Isn't that in like 30 years?
Questions like these have haunted me for awhile now. You know whenever you are introduced to an adult the first thing that comes out of there mouth seems to be, "What career are you going into?". I have analyzed my answers to this question over time. Sometimes I want to be a teacher, sometimes I want to have a yoga studio, other times I want to just travel. It's confusing.
The truth is that times have changed since our parents generation has grown up. Traditionally, you went to school, you got a job, you get married and you have kids. And then what... are you stuck in that life forever?
I am a young soon to be college graduate who wants to explore, learn and research life around the world. I have always envied my friends who knew exactly what they want to be. "I want to be a nurse, I want to teach elementary, I want to be a mom". I always felt excluded for not knowing exactly what I want to do for a career.
I do know what I want. I want to be happy, to be loved, to be surrounded by nature and creativity. I want to help people. I want to have animals, a garden, a family. I want a simple life. I want to change the world. Sometimes I want to fast forward to being an old lady who just gardens all day. How do I do all of this?
What I am realizing is that, we are young. We do not have to have our whole life figured out. We do not need to chose one career to stick to for life. We can switch careers whenever we want. This will all take time.
I say this because as I am entering the world of teaching fitness, I continually ask myself if this is what I want to be doing? Do I like having to wake up at 5:30 AM to coach others to be fit without having time to focus on myself? Do I enjoy yoga more than weight lifting? What do I want to teach others? Do I have to follow someone else's rules? Can't I do this own my own? Should I open my own studio? That would mean I need to settle down somewhere and not move for awhile. Am I ready for that? Is that the best option? As you can tell, I am feeling confused lately.
We we born on this earth to explore... We need to experience what makes us feel best. We need to be open to possibility and change. I can thank my boyfriend for helping me discover this. He is adventurous and willing to offer me challenges. We share this passion for helping others and discovering new cultures.
What should we do?
Where should we go?
Who should we be?
These questions will continue to be asked on our journeys. We can be confused together. We can figure life out as we go through these experiences together.
I wrote this to help others in the world who are feeling the same as me lately. Life is full of ups and downs. Life is meant to ebb and flow. Life is meant to challenge you.
This is me telling you to take those challenges.
Follow your heart.
Try new experiences.
Don't play it safe.
The world is ours and it is our time to explore.
Let's be playful. Let's be courageous. Let's try new things.
Let's open our hearts.
I used this piece as a journal today. To get out some thoughts I have kept in for awhile. Thanks for listening.
You do not need to have your life figured out yet.