Whether you have been hibernating all winter or out enjoying the fresh powder, it seems most of us are excited to finally see more sunshine here in Central Oregon. Not only does the sunshine bring on spring fever, sun kissed faces, and melting snow, it also provides us with an essential vitamin that we all need to thrive. Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is often known as a mood boosting vitamin, and for good reason. Having proper levels of Vitamin D is said to be a factor in improving symptoms of depression and helps us feel a bit brighter each day. It is also important for bone health and proper immune function.
Vitamin D is found naturally in only a few foods and we also get it from exposure to the sun and supplements.
The best food sources of Vitamin D are fatty fish like salmon, tuna, swordfish, or sardines. Small quantities of Vitamin D are found in eggs, beef, mushrooms, and some cheeses.
In the United States, we have many Vitamin D fortified foods on our store shelves to help combat Vitamin D deficiency. These include some ready to eat breakfast cereals, milk, yogurt, and orange juice.
In order to get adequate Vitamin D from the sun, researchers suggest spending 5-30 minutes in direct sunlight with some exposed skin (between the hours of 10am and 3pm) at least twice per week. This means that you probably aren't getting much Vitamin D while out on the slopes of Mt Bachelor all bundled up with your ski goggles on. Take off some layers on those warmer spring days!
It is also been shown that wearing sun protectant does not impede with your body's ability to get the Vitamin D it needs from the sun. It is equally important to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays while soaking up beneficial Vitamin D.
Get outside this spring and enjoy our beautiful Central Oregon sunshine all while soaking up some Vitamin D!
Post by: Abby Douglas, RD, LD
RanDee Anshutz is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Massage Therapist practicing in Bend, Oregon. As a Health at Every Size (HAES) provider she strives to help EVERYONE in EVERY BODY achieve optimal health.