There are many health benefits that we get from sunshine. In fact, Vitamin D is also known as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin.’ It is produced by your body in response to exposure to sunlight. To a lesser extent, it can also be consumed through food and supplements.
Good food sources of vitamin D include fish, cheese, and fortified food such as milk and orange juice. However, the sun remains your most important source of vitamin D.
Here are some of the many health benefits of vitamin D:
- Strong bones and teeth: Vitamin D helps in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood, which is very important for maintaining a healthy musculoskeletal system. Without vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium from the food you eat.
- Improved immunity: Vitamin D is a powerful immunity booster. Research studies have demonstrated that children that have sufficient levels of vitamin D are less likely to have colds, allergies and influenza.
- Reduced risk of diabetes: Results of a study conducted by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Seoul National University suggest that individuals with vitamin D deficiency may be at a 5 times higher risk for developing diabetes.
- Healthy pregnancy: Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy may increase a woman’s risk of developing preeclampsia necessitating a C-section, gestational diabetes, and bacterial vaginosis.
- Cancer prevention: Vitamin D plays an important role in cellular function. In its active form, vitamin D may help reduce the rapid proliferation for cancer and prevent the growth of blood vessels within a tumor.
So, how much of the sunshine do you need to reap the benefits of vitamin D? During the summer in and around Dallas, sensible sun exposure for about 15 minutes is all you need if your fair skinned. Darker-skinned individuals may require more time under the sun to synthesize vitamin D.
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