Food is the primary source of our nutrients, however one nutrient in particular is actually best absorbed through the skin via sunlight. Formed by the the action of sunlight on skin, Vitamin D is in fact, it is a cross between a vitamin and hormone.
For years vitamin D has been associated with good bones, but did you know it also has benefits for your fitness levels. Here are 3 things you didn’t know about Vitamin D.
You only need to be outside for a short period of time
Because vitamin D is formed through sunlight on the skin, exposing your arms, hands and face for 10 minutes a day every second day is generally enough to meet your vitamin D requirements.
Having said this however, it’s important to note that different skin tones and locations have different requirements. Olive and darker skin tones need around 3x more exposure then their fairer counterparts. If you live in a moderately sunny location such as the Gold Coast Australia, you’d need less exposure then other locations like Melbourne Australia. So, remember to slip, slop slap and always be sun safe!
Vitamin D has more than one function
Vitamin D is critical to having a healthy immune system by acting as a ‘light switch in your body turning on and off genes and processes that are needed to maintain health. Your immune cells have Vitamin D receptors. The active Vitamin D is key to activating key peptides in your immune system that trigger a strong antimicrobial response allowing your body to quickly and effectively fight off invaders before they develop into a full-blown infection.
Vitamin D also works by improving the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body. This means it can help you to achieve strong bones and teeth as well as maintaining healthy nerve and muscle function. Our adrenal court is enriched with vitamin D to help recover post exercise as well as maintain good health overall.
Mushrooms can create their own Vitamin D
Did you know that mushrooms have a unique ability to produce vitamin D after exposure to UV light?
This can then be passed onto us when we eat them. A handy and useful tip for those who mightn’t meet their needs through sunlight alone. To maximise your vitamin D absorption, leave store brought mushrooms in the sun for 1 hour before eating them. A simple way to boost your vitamin D levels.
Enjoying a wide and varied diet is key to achieving and maintaining good health no matter if you’re a wellness warrior or wanting to make small sustainable changes to improve your health.