As autumn begins to set in- unless you live in a tropical paradise – you’re probably all too familiar with the gray skies that seem to never end through the colder winter months. If you’re feeling trapped beneath chunky sweaters and wool scarves and missing that mood-boosting, skin-bronzing sunshine, you might also be missing an accessory that complements any figure. No, it’s not a new pair of shoes or the latest handbag, but a vitamin that is critically important for a plethora of physiological processes.
You probably know that Vitamin D is important for strong bones. But you may be surprised to learn that Vitamin D is also necessary for balancing hormones, making sure your immune system is ready to fight off illnesses and disease, muscle maintenance, preventing accelerated aging, and reducing the risk of a variety of chronic illnesses (think diabetes, depression, hypertension, cancer, depression, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and more!).
Vitamin D is a fall staple that’s not going out of style any time soon. Know you need it, but don’t know how to get it? Fear not. Vitamin D can be obtained through diet, from sunlight, or by taking a Vitamin D supplement. While too much sun can damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer, just 15 minutes of sun a day can ensure your Vitamin D levels are adequate. If you live in a northern latitude and sunlight is scarce, it might be wise to incorporate some Vitamin D containing foods into your diet such as wild salmon, egg yolks, mushrooms, and Vitamin D fortified products, including oatmeal and almond milk. The active form of Vitamin D is called Vitamin D3 and can easily be found as a supplement at your local grocery store, drug store, or health foods store.
Vitamin D is the perfect fall accessory to add to your diet or supplement regimen if you:
- want to have strong muscles and bones
- desire healthy, youthful skin
- want a strong immune system to ward off illness (which is especially important during a pandemic!)
- would like to prevent the risk of autoimmune or chronic disease
- prefer that your hormones function properly
As the days start to get shorter and colder and the sunshine fades away, you may find yourself experiencing the winter blues. Obtaining an adequate amount of Vitamin D from your diet or a supplement becomes especially important to compensate for the lack of sunshine. Boost those Vitamin D stores and remember to thank Vitamin D for all of its benefits, even the ones you didn’t know you needed, because this is a fall accessory that was made for you . . . literally.