Spring may be lurking around the corner but winter is not letting up.
At least not here in Canada.
I mean, someone must’ve really pissed her off. One day it’s 12 then the next week, -5, with windchill and hail and snow.
Since Mother Nature may be vacationing somewhere in Tahiti, I’m quite sure that most of us are a bit shy on Vitamin D.
Without adequate levels of Vitamin D your immune system is impaired.
About 70% of North Americans suffer from Vitamin D deficiency, a nutrient that is so vital to our bodies for so many functions. It helps to boost your immune system, making your body more equipped to fight illness and disease, and it builds strong bones, teeth and muscles. There are many deficiency symptoms however here are 4 of the most common deficiency symptoms to look out for.
1. Feeling Blue Or Sad
Researchers have found that woman with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to be depressed or struggle with deep feelings of sadness.
2. Mood Swings
Feeling a bit irritable? Vitamin D helps your body to produce serotonin, the “feel good hormone” which has a major impact on our mood.
3. Tired and Sleepy
Feeling sluggish during the day? Lack of energy is a tell tale symptom of people with low levels of vitamin D.
Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin is stored in our fat cells. If you’re overweight and struggling to lose weight, odds are that you require more vitamin D. Vitamin D was deemed to be instrumental in a study by the European Congress on Obesity studying the link between Vitamin D and weight loss.
The participants with increased intake of Vitamin D lost significantly more weight and reported a smaller waist than the participants that did take Vitamin D.
In fact there’s an abundance of foods that are rich in Vitamin D and other fat burning nutrients in my Metabolism on Fire weight loss program.
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Here’s a few ways to increase your Vitamin D intake:
~ Get out and feel the sun! Soaking in sunlight for 10 to 15 minutes will boost your vitamin D level.
~ Turn to food sources like egg yolks, fish, cod liver oil, fortified dairy and grain products. You can also get them from mushrooms. Here’s a cool trick. Leave mushrooms in direct sunlight for 1 hour to naturally create Vitamin D!
~ Try getting Vitamin D in supplement form after consulting with your doctor. As a culinary nutritionist I’m trained in the therapeutic properties of food however there are some Vitamins like Vitamin D that are tough to obtain from food alone.
There are two different types of Vitamin D supplements – Vitamin D2 and D3. If you do decide to take a supplement, make sure that you are taking a Vitamin D3 supplement.
Vitamin D2 is inferior to Vitamin D3. Your body doesn’t store as much Vitamin D with a Vitamin D2 supplement. Vitamin D3 is converted into active Vitamin D in your body 500 percent faster than Vitamin D2.
Vitamin D3 is a natural form that is produced by your body in response to sun. Therefore it absorbs best in the body. Although it sounds strange, Vitamin D3 is actually obtained from sheep’s wool. Yes you read that right. When sunlight hits the sheep’s wool, Vitamin D3 is produced! How awesome is that?
The other source of Vitamin D3 is fish oil. Fish oil comes from the skin of fatty fish such as salmon and tuna which naturally contain Vitamin D.
If you’re not vegetarian or vegan I would say go for D3 on the other hand if you are vegan/vegetarian or sensitive to animal products then go with Vitamin D2.
The recommended daily amount of Vitamin D is 600 IU (15 mcg).
Here’s a quick tip!
Adding coconut oil to your diet acts as a carrier to further Vitamin D3 absorption.
If you feel you may be suffering from a deficiency your doctor can perform a test to let you know. With Vitamin D being such an important part of our bodies functions it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of the good stuff!