Here at Modern Chiropractic Center in Boise Idaho we believe in keeping the body in the strongest and most efficient state possible. Here in Idaho, especially in the winter months, many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency. When people hear ‘vitamin D’, commonly the first thought is sunlight. Vitamin D is nicknamed “the sunshine vitamin.” But did you know it plays an essential role in the body?
Vitamin D is an important part of our health. It’s commonly considered a pro-hormone and is not actually a vitamin. Vitamin D is one of those nutrients that the body cannot make on its own, so we must get this by other means. Vitamin D can help maintain healthy bones because it helps the body use calcium from our diets, regulate insulin levels- which aid in the management of diabetes, and provide protection against cancers and other serious health problems.
We can get vitamin D in two ways. We get this essential nutrient from sunlight and diet. When sunlight hits our skin, it is absorbed and synthesized by our body. Depending on where you live will greatly change the amount of sun expose you need each day. It is recommended to only get about 5-10 minutes per day of sunlight to allow most people a sufficient amount of vitamin D. In places like Arizona, especially in the summer time, 5-10 minutes daily is plenty. In places like Washington where it rains often or is cloudy, more time in the sun may be required. Remember, you don’t want to be exposed to sunlight so long that it becomes harmful to your skin. In the summer sun, 5-10 minutes per day is sufficient. In the cloudy winter months, 30 or more minutes a day may be needed; however only you can be the judge of that.
When we are in the winter months and it is more difficult to be outside playing in the sun, we need to increase the foods, which are rich in vitamin D. The best foods to consume when you can’t get enough sunlight, due to weather, working the night shift, and other reasons, are fish oil or fatty fish. Fish like; cod, herring, swordfish, salmon, and sardines are a great source of vitamin D. Also mushrooms, canned tuna (in water), eggs, chicken, spinach, kale, and okra, just to name a few are excellent sources of vitamin D. We should always include fish proteins and dark leafy greens in our diet for well-balanced nutrition and to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D.
There are many reasons deficiency of this vitamin can occur. Darker skin color could be a factor because it’s more difficult for the body to absorb the sunlight. Also, using sunscreen can reduce the body’s ability to absorb the UV rays from the sun. Or using umbrellas in the sunshine, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants daily can also reduce the amount of sunlight your body can absorb. When the body is lacking in this essential nutrient, you may feel less than your best self. Some symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are, feeling sick too often, feeling tired and fatigue even with plenty of sleep, bone pain, hair loss, muscle aches, and depression. Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with rickets (a bone softening disease).
Reversing the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency is so simple. All you have to do or be mindful of is to strive to eat a healthy diet, spend more time in the good outdoors of beautiful Idaho, or take a vitamin supplement if needed. That’s it. That’s all you have to do to bring your body into better health by allowing it to use vitamin D.
For those of you that cannot get enough sunlight, supplementation becomes very important. At Modern Chiropractic Center, we offer pharmaceutical-grade vitamin D supplements for this reason.
Chiropractic care can even help your body absorb vitamin D better. At Modern Chiropractic Center, we remold the spine to free up the nervous system, thus allowing the body to do its job and function at 100%. A good spine is a good healthy body. We can help your body absorb sunlight and nutrients from food to use vitamin D more efficiently, so you can be on top of your game this winter and all year long.
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