By: Michelle Hua
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient within the human body. Despite its name, vitamin D is actually a hormone, not a vitamin, as it can be produced by the body. This nutrient is extremely important to maintain a healthy system.
Vitamin D is especially crucial for the development of one’s bones. The nutrient is used to help the body absorb calcium and phosphorous, both of which are necessary for healthy bones. Vitamin D also helps to boost the immune system, with many studies showing a positive correlation between children’s intake of the vitamin with developing food allergies. Vitamin D intake has similarly been shown to have a negative correlation with developing cancer and type 2 diabetes. The nutrient also is important for one’s mental health, as people with low levels of the vitamin often have lower energy and mood, and has even been linked with depression. Vitamin D deficiencies can lead to many physical health problems as well, such as osteoporosis, rickets, and muscle fatigue.
Fortunately, vitamin D is fairly easy to obtain. Most people’s main source of vitamin D is sunlight. While too much exposure to UV rays can be harmful, it’s still extremely beneficial to regularly get sunshine. When sunlight hits the skin, it triggers the cholesterol in the skin cells which then produces vitamin D. Additionally, many foods contain vitamin D, like fatty fishes, dairy products, and eggs. If you can’t get enough vitamin D from either of the sources, it is also possible to get supplements from your doctor.
In our current situation, it is important to find ways to maintain your vitamin D levels. Exercising in your backyard and incorporating vitamin D rich foods into your diet can help to avoid the consequences of vitamin D deficiencies.