Vitamin D: Sunshine or Supplements?
Most people think they get adequate amounts of Vitamin D from the sun but the truth is only a small percentage of individuals get enough exposure to reap the benefits of this crucial Vitamin from being outside. And of course, everyone is constantly reminding us to put our sunblock on because too much sun exposure can lead to some cancers. So, should you be getting your Vitamin D from Sunshine or Supplements?
Vitamin D plays a major roll in the immune system. It helps maintain healthy bones and teeth, it helps combat osteoporosis, depression, diabetes and obesity, and many types of cancers among other things.
Vitamins are nutrients that CANNOT be created by the body but despite the name - Vitamin D is actually considered a pro-hormone since it's made in our bodies and not actually a vitamin.
How to get your Vitamin D The Sun
Obviously, spending time outside is the simplest way for our bodies to get vitamin D, however, we’re constantly getting berated by others to ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN and if you wear makeup everyday it’s in almost every beauty product. Although sunblock is KEY for protecting us from the rays that can cause skin damage, especially in places like California where I live, it also reduces your body’s ability to synthesize vitamin D.
Weather conditions also affect the exposure of the sun and so does the smog. So if you're living in a place like LA and it's June Gloom or it's an extra smoggy day but you're outside — chances are your body isn't absorbing that Vitamin D.
Plus, have you ever head about Sun Therapy? It’s a magnificent thing!
I’m a firm believer of eating your vitamins in its most natural form and if you have a well rounded nutrient based diet you won’t need to take 15 supplements a day. To get vitamin D from foods, you should be including fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and sardines, in your diet. There’s also eggs which have a good source of vitamin D if you're not into eating fish and certain mushrooms if you don't consume animals.
In northern areas with limited sunlight, taking a supplement is a common way to get sufficient vitamin D. However, since Vitamin D is fat soluble it needs to be consumed with a fat source to be properly absorbed. Because of this I would say that it's pretty important for you to do your research on where your supplement is coming from and what is in it exactly.
Friendly Reminder: Vitamin D levels MUST be tested by a Doctor or Functional Medicine Practitioner to determine deficiency before supplementing.
So which option works best for you? Sunshine, diet, supplements or maybe a combination? I personally don't believe in taking supplements if you're able to get proper nourishment from your diet but we're all different and what works for one person might not work for another!