As our winter seems to be unseasonably warm and we have been lucky to have some warmer, sunnier days, it’s important that we take advantage of them, not only for our mental health, but our physical health as well. The sun is a great source of vitamin D, a common vitamin that many people seem to lack.
Vitamin D deficiency isn’t something you want to let go too long, but can easily be fixed with the proper foods and activities. Below are a list of benefits of Vitamin D and some ways in which you can get more of it.
Benefits of Vitamin D:
Maintains Your Calcium Balance Maintenance of blood calcium levels within a narrow range is vital for normal functioning of the nervous system, as well as for bone growth, and maintenance of bone density. Vitamin D is essential for the efficient utilization of calcium by the body.
Aids Your Cell DifferentiationCellular differentiation results in the specialization of cells for specific functions in your body. In general, differentiation of cells leads to a decrease in proliferation. While cellular proliferation is essential for growth and wound healing, uncontrolled proliferation of cells with certain mutations may lead to diseases like cancer. The active form of vitamin D, inhibits proliferation and stimulates the differentiation of cells.
Boosts Your ImmunityActive vitamin D is a potent immune system modulator. There is plenty of scientific evidence that vitamin D has several different effects on immune system function that may enhance your immunity and inhibit the development of autoimmunity.
Has a Role in Insulin SecretionThe active form of vitamin D plays a role in insulin secretion under conditions of increased insulin demand. Limited data in humans suggests that insufficient vitamin D levels may have an adverse effect on insulin secretion and glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetes. More studies are needed on the role of vitamin D and diabetes.
Blood Pressure RegulationAdequate vitamin D levels may be important for decreasing the risk of high blood pressure. Again, more studies on vitamin D and hypertension are necessary.
Sources of Vitamin D: