Can vitamin D really help to boost your health? Getting enough vitamin D in winter, especially if you live in the Northern part of the country can be difficult, but is oh so important. The reason it’s so important is because vitamin D helps with fighting off seasonal threats. Not just the flu and common cold, but also the one that the whole world is concerned about right now. The problem that you might run into is getting vitamin D during these cooler months.
The reason for that is because the sun is our main source of vitamin D. In the fall and winter months, there is less daylight. You might be less inclined to spend time outdoors too, due to the cold weather, not to mention the fact that there isn’t as much skin exposed to that sunlight. So, even if there is some sunshine, you might not be getting out and enjoying it enough.
Vitamin D is vital during the fall and winter months. This is because it helps to protect against seasonal threats. Having healthy levels of vitamin D can help prevent seasonal threats by giving your body the immunity boost it needs. It can boost the function of the immune cells in your body.
Because of this, it’s important to increase your vitamin D intake in other ways. Here are a few things to try!
- Find the sunniest parts of the day and get outside. It’s not always possible to find a warm time in the day, but it’s worth a try. Check your local weather report for the warmest and sunniest parts of the day. Your clothing, as well as sunscreen, may block vitamin D production. If you have light skin, spending 10 to 15 minutes in the sun can give you enough vitamin D.
- Eat foods rich in vitamin D. By eating foods that contain vitamin D, you can boost your immune system. A few examples include tuna, salmon, mushrooms, and egg yolks. You can also shop for vitamin D-fortified foods to add to your diet. Note that each food has different amounts of vitamin D, so keep track of how much you’re getting and how much you need.
- Try a UVB lamp. UV lamps mimic the sun’s radiation, which prompts your body to produce vitamin D. There are many different UV lamps on the market that can help to improve your vitamin D levels. Be sure to read all instructions, as too much exposure from a UV light can cause burning. You may safely use a UV lamp for a maximum of 15 minutes.
I first learned the importance of having enough vitamin D back in October 2012. I had a cold that I just couldn’t shake. It started as a head cold then moved down to my chest and continued to bounce back and forth, never really getting better.
I went to see my doctor and he told me it was a rhinovirus and that there was nothing I could do for it except let it run it course. This virus hung on all winter, but it just so happened that in January of 2013, I started at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
In March, I had a lecture from Dr. Andrew Weil who spoke on the importance of Vitamin D3 and immunity. So I figured, what did I have to lose. I started taking a vitamin D3 supplement and within a couple of weeks, I was able to shake that rhinovirus and start feeling better.
I had an appointment for a check-up with my doctor in April and to have some bloodwork done. So I requested a vitamin D level test as well. It showed that even with taking the vitamin D3 supplement, my vitamin D levels were still very, very low. My doctor said that celiacs don’t absorb vitamins and minerals like others and that it would be a good idea for me to continue to take not only the vitamin D3 supplement, but also a B12 supplement along with my multivitamin and calcium supplements.
I have continued to take 2000 iu of vitamin D3 and rarely if ever get a cold these days.
I pulled this right off of Dr. Weil’s website: Long before COVID-19 appeared, I recommended that everyone take 2000 IU of vitamin D daily, not only because it assists in the absorption of calcium and promotes bone mineralization but for its many other health benefits. It helps support the immune system, protects against a number of serious diseases including rickets and osteomalacia, and may provide protection from hypertension, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and influenza. And maybe COVID-19. Here’s where you can read more about the health benefits of vitamin D.
It’s best to talk to your doctor about how much vitamin D you need. Despite you getting less sun exposure in the fall, you can still take in this important vitamin and stay healthy.