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vitamin D

Benefits of Vitamin D

With flu season in full effect, I thought I would share some of the benefits of vitamin D, an important immune system booster, among other things. Keeping your vitamin D at the recommended levels, can help ward off the flu! Great news when the flu is lingering every where! But, winter time tends to cause our vitamin D stores to get depleted, unless you live in a climate that allows for more sunlight year round. Talk to your doctor to get testing and advice on getting your levels in a healthy range.


Before I go too much further, I think I need to clarify that vitamin D is actually a pro-hormone, not a vitamin, because our bodies are able to produce it through the skins exposure to sunlight. A fair skinned person can produce up 20,000 IU of vitamin D with only 20 minutes of sun exposure. Sensible exposure of 5-10 minutes 2-3 times per week, should keep your levels adequate. Sunlight converts cholesterol on the skin into vitamin D3, which is then converted in vitamin D by the kidneys.  Vitamin D can only be stored by the body for 2 weeks, so if sensible sun exposure is not available, supplementation during winter months might be necessary. Once again, talk to your doctor for help determining this.


Here is a quick list of a few of the possible health effects associated with healthy levels of vitamin D:


  • Vitamin D aids in the regulation of calcium levels in the blood. You need to maintain both healthy vitamin D and calcium levels to keep your bones strong.


  • As stated before, if you keep your vitamin D levels adequate you can greatly reduce your chances of contracting the flu.


  • Studies suggest that vitamin D is extremely important in regulating cell growth and cell-to-cell communication. Keeping healthy vitamin D levels can reduce cancer progression by slowing the cell growth. Healthy cells, healthy body.


  • Maintaining adequate vitamin D levels has been thought to lower ones risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


  • To avoid preclampsia, a cesarean section, or bacterial vaginosis, it is recommended that pregnant women keep adequate vitamin D levels. Your doctor must assist you in maintaining a healthy level. If the levels get too high, there could be health risks to the baby. Always use doctor supervision when pregnant.


So how can we supplement vitamin D levels, if adequate sunlight isn’t available year round? Let’s see:


  • Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon: 1,360 IU
  • Herring, fresh, raw, 4 ounces: 1,056 IU
  • Swordfish, cooked, 4 ounces: 941 IU
  • Raw maitake mushrooms, 1 cup: 786 IU
  • Salmon, sockeye, cooked, 4 ounces: 596 IU
  • Sardines, canned, 4 ounces: 336 IU
  • Fortified skim milk, 1 cup: 120 IU
  • Tuna, canned in water, drained, 3 ounces: 68 IU
  • Egg, chicken, whole large: 44 IU



Talk to your doctor and get blood work done if you feel your sun exposure might not be optimal. Keeping your vitamin D levels at the recommended levels has great health benefits.



Posted in Health & Wellness | March 9 th , 2016 | 0 Comments

Are you too pooped to play?

Are you too pooped to play? Do you find yourself running out of energy before the day is over? Well if you are, let’s talk about a couple natural ways to boost your energy and get you through your day.


The demands of work, school, family, money worries, children, and life in general, can drain you of your energy before the day is complete. Start your boost by getting a good nights sleep each day.  Getting 7-8 hours per night can allow your body to recover from that constant stress of everyday life, giving you a cache of energy for the end of the day.


The next quick boost in your energy cache can come from exercise. Yes, I know you don’t feel like doing it any activity when your stressed and tired, but getting exercise into your day is key! When you exercise, you add oxygen and nutrients into your bloodstream, which gets your body pumping and makes you feel more energetic.  Your workout doesn’t have to be intense to feel the effect either. Get up, take a walk, ride your bike. Get outside to get that movement in too. The sunlight stimulates your body’s production of Vitamin D, and just makes you feel good. As I’ve discussed before, the act of exercising is great for your brain too. Get the blood pumping, lungs moving, and feel the release of endorphins in the brain- boosting your energy and alertness!


That energy boost can be enhanced with the right nutrients too.Keep your diet rich in foods that contains omega 3, magnesium, iron, protein, vitamin D, and B vitamins. Make sure those foods are whole foods and not processed. The carbohydrates in most processed energy snacks counter act the benefits and slow you down. Start your day with a healthy breakfast, and maintain your blood sugar levels through out the day by having smart snacks or mini meals.  And don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Stay hydrated, or you can feel sluggish.


Beat the ‘Too pooped to play’ feeling and get moving. Use these quick bits of advice and get outside and go for a walk, and enjoy the sunshine!

Posted in Health & Wellness | February 16 th , 2015 | 0 Comments

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