What Can the Sun Do?
The sun is responsible for many aspects of human health. In addition to lighting our world, the sun is acts as the primary source of a vital nutrient in our body: vitamin D. The sunlight you receive during the summer equips you with this essential nutrient, supplying your body throughout the year. Your body is built to thrive off the sun, and exposure to sunlight is crucial to your wellbeing. Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for our overall health. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, vitamin D is synthesized from cholesterol. Because of this, many people call this essential vitamin “the sunshine vitamin”. This is why a relaxing day at the beach can feel so rejuvenating—your body is literally becoming healthier through the sun.
Seemingly every day, there’s a new study that reveals some new reason why vitamin D is so important to our health.
How Does Vitamin D Help?
Vitamin D effects more functions of the body than we may think. Maintaining a proper amount of vitamin D helps preserve a healthy overall balance in the body. The following are function of the body that this nutrient can benefit:
The primary role of vitamin D, and well-established function, is to maintain a sufficient amount of phosphorus and calcium in your blood. Vitamin D allows us to properly absorb these nutrients to make our bones strong. Without them, our bones would become brittle and break.
Vitamin D can defend us from a variety of diseases, including heart disease, certain cancers, and osteoporosis. But that’s only the beginning. The sunshine vitamin has been shown the to fight against an army of additional health concerns, including depression, diabetes, and insomnia. There are thousands of studies that reveal all the health problems that vitamin D helps prevent or treat.
With a broader understand of the benefits behind this vitamin, we can begin to understand its importance. For example, we can start to see how vitamin D prevents us from injury through different functions. First, it strengthens our bones and reduces risks of fractures. Second, vitamin D improves muscle contraction, which develops our overall balance. Working together, the benefits of vitamin D help your body to perform at its best.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?
Most people simply do not get enough vitamins and minerals and vitamin D is no exception. Vitamin D insufficiency is extremely common in many people throughout the world—nearly 50% of earth’s population is found lacking.
The best source for vitamin D is sunlight. The challenge often lies in balancing skin protection while absorbing all the vitamin D your body needs. There are risks of skin cancer from overexposure to the sun. In addition, the amount of sun we receive varies throughout the year. Unfortunately, we also cannot receive the right amount of vitamin D from food alone. The most common recommendation to ensure you are receiving the proper amount of vitamin D is by taking vitamin D supplements. A balanced diet, combined with an appropriate dose of supplements, can provide us all the vitamin D we need. Proper dosing depends on age and lifestyle.
The right amount of vitamin D in your body can heal you; it can strengthen you physically and mentally. When we generate a healthy balance of nutrients, we allow our body to work the way it’s meant to.