On the health front, recent studies show a huge part of the population — everyone from newborns to the elderly - are severely lacking Vitamin D, which can put your health in jeopardy. According to The New York Times, most people know to drink plenty of water and to eat their fruits and veggies, but when it comes to Vitamin D, it isn’t even on the radar.
So why is Vitamin D so important? The Mayo Clinic reports that the major job of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium in all the different tissues in your body – everything from your brain to your heart to your intestines to your bones. This is something no other vitamin does. You can think of it as the personal assistant you can’t live without who keeps your day running smoothly, but whose absence turns your life into total chaos, raising your risk for everything from cancer to heart disease to strokes to thinning bones to depression. In fact, some experts think a Vitamin D deficiency could even cause Type 1 diabetes. A study in Finland discovered when newborns were given a dose of Vitamin D every day, their risk of developing Type 1 diabetes dropped by 80-percent.
So, how much Vitamin D do you need to stay healthy? The Institute of Medicine suggests 200 International Units of Vitamin D for adults under age 50, and 500 for senior citizens. You can pop a vitamin pill – but there are other ways to add to your daily dose. First, add foods to your diet that are high in Vitamin D, including wild salmon, mushrooms and broccoli. Also, get out in the sun! Experts say a lot of people lack Vitamin D because they’re conditioned to stay out of the sun. However, we need a little sun to stay healthy, because when the sun's UV-B rays hit your skin, a reaction triggers the manufacture of Vitamin D. So, experts suggest getting outside at least 10 minutes a day, three times a week. Dr. Oz recommends skipping sunscreen on your legs for the first 10 minutes in the sun. Just make sure you apply in time to prevent any burns or damage. In fact, Vitamin D expert Dr. Michael Holick says if you get enough Vitamin D making sessions during the summer, your body will be set for the entire year.