Vitamins are essential for a healthy body. Your body does not produce them per se, which is why you need to ingest them.
Out of all the vitamins, Vitamin D is thought to be the most vital of them all. In fact, it’s called the Super Vitamin. Why? Continue to read below and find out.
What is Vitamin D?
To tell you the truth, Vitamin D is not vitamin at all. Sounds confusing, eh? Well, the fact is it becomes a hormone called calcitriol once your body starts to metabolize it. It’s not the same as the supplements you would take everyday, in the form of pills or capsules.
Here are the two forms of Vitamin D which are essential for humans to receive.
- Vitamin D2– It is also known as ergocalciferol, which is produced primarily through plants.
- Vitamin D3 – It is also known as cholecalciferol, which is produced in your skin when it is exposed to sunlight.
Why do you need it?
The sun is the best source of Vitamin D you can get, and the fact that we don’t get enough sun on a regular basis has led to a nationwide crisis of Vitamin D deficiency.
We need Vitamin D in order for our immune system to stay healthy. Without it, we’re intensely susceptible to diseases.
Unfortunately American life seems tailor-made for sun avoidance. The further north of the equator you live, the less intense the sun is and the harder it is to get Vitamin D. We also tend to overprotect ourselves by slathering sunblock everywhere before heading into the sun. Another factor is that our work and home lives leave us primarily indoors, where we don’t see the sun.
What are the sources of Vitamin D?
Another special thing about this Super Vitamin is that there are a few selections of foods that can be a source of Vitamin D. Apart from sunlight (which is the most essential source), here are some of its other sources:
- Natural orange juice
- Cod liver oil
- Egg yolk
- Sardines canned in oil
- Swiss cheese
- Cooked liver
- Cooked beef
How much Vitamin D do you need?
The best source of Vitamin D is natural sunlight. Studies believe that you need to get out in sunlight (without sunblock!) for two, 15-minute sessions each day. Just make sure you have about 25 μg (1000 IU) of Vitamin D consumed everyday.
If you’re far from the equator and don’t have much access to sun, your options are going for foods that are rich in it, or supplements.
What are its benefits?
If you’re still not convinced that you should have more than enough Vitamin D, here are some of the perks of ingesting food sources of it.
- It promotes better mental processes. A British study found that 3,000 participants who have prominent amount of Vitamin D had exceptional memory and cognitive abilities.
- It’s a practical and natural aid against the common cold.
- It regulates your immune system so that you are well protected and your body isn’t attacking itself.
- It reduces abdominal fat. Yes, it’s true. Studies have shown that those who drink Vitamin D-rich orange juice and worked out displayed less abdominal fat.
So what are you waiting for? Get more sun exposure and start eating healthy. You’ll be surprised just how much helpful Super Vitamin D really is.