Learn about the benefits of vitamin D, deficiency symptoms and how you can make sure you’re getting enough — naturally!
Getting enough sunshine has proven to be the most effective and natural way to get your daily dose of vitamin D — which plays a vital role in your overall health and wellbeing.
Vitamin D benefits your body in so many incredible and mind-blowing ways.
Maybe even more than you ever thought!
But before we dig into all of those absolutely incredible benefits, let’s first talk about what vitamin D actually is.
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that’s stored in the liver and fatty tissues in your body.
So when I use the term “essential” — I’m saying that your body can’t make this vitamin on its own without the help of food or the sun.
There are three ways you can acquire vitamin D: food, sunshine and supplementation.
Also, did you know that vitamin D is actually a hormone?
Yup! Your kidneys produce this hormone (similar to adrenal hormones) and help control the concentration of calcium in your blood.
What’s the Difference Between Vitamin D, D2 & D3
You might see these variations thrown out there and honestly, it can be a bit confusing.
Vitamin D is referring to the entire vitamin as a whole. D2 and D3 are the different forms.
D2 is synthetic and derives from plants and yeast. A common source is found in fortified cereal.
D3 is the internal kind that our bodies naturally make. It’s found in animal food such as liver, eggs, fish and cod liver oil.
The biggest difference between these two forms is how well your body metabolizes and absorbs them. D3 has proven to be nearly 2x as effective at increasing overall vitamin D levels than D2.
So you can plainly see that D3 is the way to go! Now let’s talk about all of those incredible benefits.
6 Mind-Blowing Benefits of the Sunshine Vitamin
Have you been wondering what the benefits of vitamin D actually are? Well, here are the top 6 that absolutely blow me away!
1. Strengthens Teeth & Bones
Because vitamin D helps with the regulation and absorption of calcium, it plays an important role in your bone health and development.
In fact, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to numerous bone issues, including the softening and weakening of the skeletal system.
2. Boosts Immune System
This is probably the most popular benefit that everyone talks about, and it’s because vitamin D is integral to the function of your immune cells. Not only does it boost your immune system, but it actually protects against infection.
There’s even evidence that vitamin D can reduce the duration and severity of COVID-19. Anytime we feel something coming on in our family, we increase our dose of vitamin D along with elderberry syrup, and just like that, sickness is gone. Crazy!
3. Improves Mood & Mental Health
Studies have found that vitamin D deficiency could be linked to Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It’s also tied to impaired cognitive function in adults. There’s even a study showing a direct correlation between vitamin D deficiency and depression.
Since vitamin D is technically a hormone, it’s very beneficial to your overall mental health. This means it can help with anxiety and regular mood problems during PMS.
4. May Help Fight Cancer
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased risks of cancer development. Some of these include breast, kidney, colon and prostate cancers.
With increased vitamin D, researchers have seen mortality rates drastically decrease in all types of cancer.
Research also shows that it can affect cell death in cancer patients. Studies are still being conducted and more information is being released monthly about the effects of vitamin D on cancer.
5. Helps Fight Heart Disease
Being deficient in vitamin D is a risk factor for developing heart disease, but also heart failure, arterial disease, heart attacks and strokes.
Vitamin D helps fight heart disease by maintaining healthy blood pressure and reducing inflammation within your body.
6. Promotes Weight Loss
Did you know that people with high body fat tend to have low vitamin D levels? It’s true. Research shows that increasing vitamin D enhances weight loss by ramping up fat-burning cells.
Remember though, people who experienced weight loss in these studies had a balanced combination of increasing vitamin D levels, eating a well-balanced diet and moving their bodies more.
Vitamin D Deficiency & Symptoms
Here’s what can happen when your levels are too low:
- Exhaustion & fatigue
- Bone fractures, fragility & pain
- Regular infections
- Higher risk of high blood pressure
- Autoimmune disorders
- Chronic pain
- Skin issues
- Developmental problems in babies & children
- Muscle weakness & twitching
- Certain cancers, such as breast, prostate & colon
Knowledge is power.
If you are concerned and relate to any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor and get tested. It’s a simple test that can give you big answers and the ability to address this deficiency.
How to Get Your Dose of Vitamin D Naturally
There are three ways you can get your daily dose of vitamin D that’s both natural and safe.
One of the most effective ways to meet your vitamin D needs is by direct sunlight!
Just 20-30 minutes of sun exposure twice a week is all you need to meet your daily required intake.
But if you have darker skin, you typically don’t synthesize vitamin D as efficiently as those with lighter skin. In the winter, getting your daily dose through sunshine can be hard.
This is when you need to consider adding additional sources for your needs so you are in tip-top shape when it comes to your health.
Bump up your intake of foods that are rich in this essential vitamin by munching on these top vitamin D-rich foods:
- Wild-caught salmon
- Cod liver oil
- Tuna fish
- Beef liver
- Mushrooms (after exposure to UV light)
- Raw milk
For those of you who maybe aren’t absorbing enough vitamin D through food and sunshine, or have absorption issues or deficiency — supplements may be the way to go.
Always look for D3 and try to stick with clean and natural ingredients.
My recommendation? Ancient Nutrition Fermented Vitamin D.
It features fermented vitamin K which aids in absorption along with probiotic-fermented vitamin D. It also contains organic astragalus root extract which is an adaptogen and hailed as an overall health supporter.
How Much Do You Need?
Are you wondering how much vitamin D you need? Well, currently the recommended daily allowance is:
- Infants 0-12 months: 400 IU
- Children & adults 1-70 years: 600 IU
- Adults over 70 years: 800 IU
Not everyone is in agreement with these guidelines though.
Many functional doctors actually suggest this dosage should be significantly higher. Some even say a dosage as high as 5,000 IU could be extremely beneficial.
Always work with your doctor to determine the best dosage for you and your current health.
This is proof that sometimes just getting outside can be great for your overall health — from your mental health to your physical health.
Another great addition to your daily health regimen?
A simple dose of Organic Elderberry Syrup to go along with that gorgeous sunshine.
Just one dose gives you an immune boost that provides a line of defense against sickness. No one wants to get sick on summer break, am I right?
Looking for a new and delicious way to get your daily dose in? Try these customer-favorite summer recipes.
Check out these favorites:
- Elderberry Smoothie Bowl
- Organic Elderberry Blueberry Jam
- Elderberry Popsicles — 3 Ways
- Lemon Elderberry Poke Cake