How To Get More Vitamin D
If you tend to feel fatigued, depressed or in pain during the winter months, you’re not alone..
According to a study from several years ago, 41.6% of adults in the United States are Vitamin D deficient, which means high likelihood of feeling fatigued, in pain, depressed, and more (sound familiar?) This number shockingly goes up to 69.2% to those of Hispanic descent and 82.1% of African American descent. Predictably, the most common times for this deficiency is in the winter months, specifically November - February.
If you’re like me and live in a place where the sun barely shines (Seattle) then you probably know these feelings all too well, or perhaps have felt down recently but were unsure of the cause. Rest assured you’re not alone, there are ways to remedy these sunshine-lacking blues and get you back on the path to success.
This is a no brainer, but as someone who works in the corporate world and spends many hours each day at an office in front of a screen, I have to mention it first. Vitamin D is most commonly aquired through the skin. Your body is designed to get the Vitamin D it needs by producing it when bare skin is exposed to sunlight. If you’ve ever gone to the mountain for a snow day and came back with a sunburn despite the lack of direct sun, then you understand how powerful these UV rays can be. Even just an hour a day can equip your body with the Vitamin D it needs to lift your mood. Take a few minutes to get outside today and, if you're having vision pains, try looking at something green!
Vitamin D Supplements
Although I prefer to stay away from medicinal remedies to issues that nature is more than capable of resolving, I do understand our busy schedules can mandate nutritional assistance from external forces. Vitamin D supplements are very common, in fact I’d bet many of you have them at home, and for sure could find them at a nearby pharmacy or grocery store. While the exact amount of Vitamin D your body needs is debatable (I tried finding sources but they’re all varied), I came up with an average amount to be around 1000 IU (International Units). Gummy Vitamins often contain Vitamin D, not to mention many of the foods we eat. Here's a Vitamin D supplement I recently purchased and recommend on Amazon.
Vitamin D Lights
As a tertiary option, and one that is even further away from a natural remedy (I’m a naturalist, can you tell?) is the option of sunlamps. While sun lamps do provide Vitamin D and can be a great substitute in a pinch, they do come with some risks. For one, sunlamps contain timers for the fact that prolonged use can lead to skin damage i.e. skin cancer. The fact that cancer is among the list of possible side effects from sitting next to a few blue light bulbs is enough to deter my interest entirely. There is also the issue of cost, as nicer sunlamps can cost several hundred dollars. According to this article, sun lamps should be rotated around to different parts of the skin to prevent extended exposure
I have used a sunlamps personally in the past and, in moderation, found them to be quite soothing. Here is one sunlamp that I recommend on Amazon, if you're interested in going down this route.
Vitamin D deficiency is the cause of many adults depression, fatigue, physical pain and more. If you think about it, our genetics crave for us to be out in the sunlight, yet many of us spend the majority of our time behind closed curtains staring at computer screens (do you work remotely?). If you needed a reason to close your device and go outside, let this be it!
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