Alright, I am not a scientist or a doctor, but the other day I thought of an idea I wanted to explore. It is currently January as I am sitting down to write this, which means cold and gloomy weather. Yesterday was one of the first days in weeks that the sun was out, and it was about fifty degrees outside. That is a rare occurrence for a January day in my home state of Nebraska. I found myself smiling, listening to my upbeat and positive Spotify playlists, and actually feeling happy without reason. Then I realized it was the sun! It is no secret that Vitamin D is crucial to good physical and mental health, but I guess I never really understood the true impacts it has on our day to day lives. So, I am going to lay out all of the many ways that the sun helps our bodies other than just pulling us out of the dull and upsetting seasonal depression.
- Vitamin D Fights Diseases
Vitamin D is vital for regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus as well as allowing the body normal immune system function. It is a natural resistance against disease which basically explains why diseases spread the easiest and fastest in the winter. With that basic protection, studies have also shown vitamin being linked to reducing risk of multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and the flu.
- Vitamin D Can Reduce Depression
Various research shows a definite relationship between the sun vitamin and mood regulation. It has also been shown to reduce anxiety in patients of the same study.
- Vitamin D Boosts Weight Loss
One study was conducted where the subjects that were taking vitamin D supplements experienced easier weight loss than the subjects that were given the placebo.
- Vitamin D Reduces Cancer Risks
When paired with calcium supplements, vitamin D reduces the risk in potential cancer patients by 23%. This is most noticed in cancers such as colon, breast, and prostate.
- Vitamin D Produces Strong Bones
In healthy levels, vitamin D slows bone loss and can even prevent osteoporosis. Doctors even use it to treat osteomalacia, a disease that attacks bones.
Vitamin D deficiencies can be very dangerous, and it is important to recognize when you are not getting enough sun. It is recommended to spend 15-20 minutes outside every day in order for your body to be able to produce healthy amounts of this sunshine vitamin. If that isn’t possible, there are supplements that can be taken in the absence of this natural production. This is especially important because of many studies that say that it is possible for vitamin D to be a factor in fighting off COVID-19. During these gloomy months make sure to prioritize your health whether it be physical or mental, and stay shinin’ on!