A change in season effects a number of things - your wardrobe, your meals and your skincare regimen to name a few. But beyond these obvious adjustments, a new season can interfere with your health more than you might imagine. As we transition from summer to fall, one of the most important things to keep at bay is Vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D, also called the Sunshine Vitamin, is produced in your skin in response to sunlight, but can also be gained (at a lower rate) by eating certain foods. Vitamin D is important because it helps your body to absorb calcium and phosphorous, and keep your immune system functioning regularly. The Sunshine Vitamin is also known to be essential in the growth and development of bones and teeth, and in fighting off certain diseases.
In recent studies, it was found that about 40% of people in the US are deficient in Vitamin D. The best way to get Vitamin D is to get outside. But while this sounds simple, there are a few things to keep in mind as we head into autumn.
1. Sunscreen could be standing in your way. SPF15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, which our bodies use to make Vitamin D. So that being said, go outside for a picnic or a walk around the neighborhood sans sunscreen to get the benefits of the sun's rays.
2. Skin has a harder time producing Vitamin D with age. This means that you'll need to be eating certain foods packed with the Sunshine Vitamin as you get older.
3. In northern parts of the US, the sunshine simply isn't strong enough in the fall and winter to aid your body in producing Vitamin D. Once again, you'll have to rely on specific foods during these seasons to keep your internal supply of sunshine going.
So, as the summer comes to a close and your time in the sun fades, set two intentions for Vitamin D health. Firstly, fill your plate with Vitamin D producing foods to keep your bones strong and your spirits high. Some of our favorite Vitamin D foods include wild caught fish, shiitake mushrooms, egg yolks and orange juice. Secondly - even though it's brisk - challenge yourself to get outside each and every day to get some fresh air and absorb the Sunshine Vitamin.
What lifestyle adjustments do you depend on to maintain a sunny disposition in the fall and winter?