Catch Some Rays This Winter

If you shun the sun, suffer from milk allergies, or adhere to a strict vegan diet, you may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency, according to WebMD.

Known as the “sunshine” vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to unfiltered sunlight— best taken in for about 10 to 15 minutes per day. Vitamin D also occurs naturally in a few foods including some fish and fish liver oils, egg yolks, and in fortified dairy and grain products, although it’s very difficult to absorb enough vitamin D from diet alone.

What makes vitamin D so special is that, unlike other vitamins, it functions like a hormone, and every single cell in your body has a receptor for it. Having a vitamin D deficiency is very common. It’s estimated that about one billion people worldwide have low levels of the vitamin in their blood.

Here are 7 common risk factors linked to a vitamin D deficiency:

• Having dark skin
• Being elderly
• Being overweight or obese
• Eating little fish or dairy
• Living far from the equator where there is not much sun year-round
• Always using sunscreen when going out
• Staying indoors

Whether you’re getting your vitamin D from the sun or a supplement, you might also want to pay attention to how much magnesium you’re getting
as well. Nutritionists say that vitamin D can’t metabolize effectively without sufficient amounts of magnesium, which transforms the vitamin into usable form inside a human body.

You can solve a lot of health woes by frequently eating salads and other green vegetables while sitting in the sun!

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