Vitamin D & Your Health
By Ryan Kohler
I recently read an article about a potential link between Vitamin D status and seasonal flu (article link below). Part of this came to mind as I was sniffling and sneezing with allergies this weekend. Now that we are approaching the fall months, it’s a good time to start thinking about your Vitamin D intake since it has such an important role in the body and is affected largely by solar radiation – namely, the lack of radiation most of us get in the winter months.
With jobs keeping many of us indoors during the day, early sunsets, and colder temps on the way, we are at a higher risk for receiving less than adequate radiation to convert the precursor to Vitamin D in our skin to the active form for the body. (Note: be smart about sun exposure – just like anything else, moderation is key and this, too, can be overdone. If you are prone to burns, wear sunscreen)
In a nutshell, Vitamin D is responsible for bone health and immune function, so from a general health perspective, we should always try to get enough of this throughout the year. And if you are one of those people who succumb to the seasonal cold or flu, think about starting to get more sources of Vitamin D in your diet these days. Some of the best sources include:
Salmon, tuna, fortified milk, orange juice fortified w/ D, and cod liver oil are all great sources of Vitamin D. 2 cups of milk (fortified) will get you up to 60% of your daily intake, 3 ounces of salmon will nearly double the daily recommendation, and 1 cup of fortified OJ will give you about 25% of your daily intake.
As we get into the fall months, check up on your intake and look to add some of these foods to your diet, not only to promote healthy bones, but maybe you can help to offset that seasonal cold/flu as well.