Vitamin D has long been touted as the ‘sunshine supplement’ due to the fact that vitamin D is best received by exposure to sunlight on bare skin. But depending on where you live, the amount of sunlight and sunshine you get will vary throughout the year (more sunlight in the summer versus barely any in the winter.) The closer you are to the equator, the higher the chances are of being exposed to vitamin D from sunlight.
Vitamin D is extremely important for things like strong teeth, bones and a strong and healthy immune system.
This micronutrient also helps you absorb calcium and phosphorus and makes you stronger against certain diseases.
However, because of a lack of sunshine combined with a poor diet, many people may experience a vitamin D deficiency.
Some symptoms of a deficiency include poor immune system (constantly getting sick), regularly tired or fatigued, constant back pain, bone pain (and bone loss), depression, slow healing, muscle pain and hair loss.
In order to combat these deficiencies, there is a multitude of ways to get enough vitamin D without having to stay directly under the sunlight all day.
Aside from vitamin D supplements, there is a whole host of vitamin-D rich vegetables. These include potatoes, corn, and spinach. But to be honest, most vegetables (and some fruits) contain a healthy dose of vitamin D.
Mushrooms also have tons of vitamin D because they are exposed to sunlight at very high levels. Things like white mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and portobello mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D among many other health benefits.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to low blood levels of ‘calcidiol’ which means a higher chance of bone damage and an impaired ability for bones to mineralize. This can lead to a bone-softening disease such as rickets in children and osteomalacia for adults.
But taking in too much vitamin D can be just as unhealthy as not having enough. Having excessive amounts of vitamin D can lead to high blood calcium levels, also known as hypercalcemia. This will cause an excessive need to urinate and a constant and unquenchable thirst.
Everyone’s intake of vitamin D varies based on where they live around the world and also based on their skin color. People with lighter skin can produce vitamin D quicker whereas people with darker skin produce it slower.