Chances are you have heard about Vitamin D. It’s the wonder vitamin from the sun. Vitamin D is essential for our health in many ways. With winter weather behind us, being in the sunshine not only boosts our mood, but helps our bodies absorb the Vitamin D we need. Don’t like the sun? Vitamin D is also found in or added to some foods.
The recommended daily amount of Vitamin D is 600IU for adults, and 800 IU for those over age 70. Vitamin D helps to maintain healthy bones, absorb calcium, improve immunity and reduce inflammation. A lack of Vitamin D can affect your immune and nervous systems, cause osteoporosis, brittle bones, and risk of fractures.
Where can you find Vitamin D? Being out in the sun is the easiest way. However, if you wear sunscreen and long clothing, your skin does not absorb enough Vitamin D to be effective. Vitamin D is found in foods such as egg yolk, butter, fish oils, tuna, salmon, milk, fortified orange juice and fortified cereal. Vitamin D supplements are also sold at most pharmacy type stores, as well as prescribed by a doctor.
Challenge yourself to find out how much Vitamin D your body is getting each day. Look at food labels to see if Vitamin D is listed, and when it’s sunny, take a walk and enjoy the sun for about five minutes.
For more information, call the Greenbrier County WVU Extension Office at 304-647-7408.