Coming off the wettest November in years, I have been thinking about Vitamin D and its importance to the PNW families and our health. I wanted to write about the benefits of it and I thought, “I bet Dr. Chelsea Gordon and the Flourish Family Medicine team in Mill Creek has already covered it.” And I was right. You can find this article other helpful information on their Instagram page. https://www.instagram.com/p/CSKD-tLtpbp/?utm_medium=copy_link
Vitamin D, fat soluble, also called calciferol, labelled as D2 or D3
Vitamin D is often low in this part of the country and we often have to supplement for it. That is simply because of where we are located on planet Earth. We do not get enough UV rays hitting our skin for long enough periods during enough times of the year.
Can we get enough through food? That depends on the time of year. In the warmer months, say June through most of September, we may not need much vitamin D from food if we are outside enough.
During the transitional periods, say April, May, some of September, and October, if we are outside during peak UV times and eating high vitamin D foods, likely we are doing okay. During the colder winter months, most of us need some supplementation *not all, but most of us. And that is because we need a fair amount of skin exposed during peak UV times (around noon to 2 pm) for at least 20 minutes.
The other part of the equation is food. What foods contain vitamin D? Few foods naturally contain vitamin D. The flesh of fatty fish (such as trout, salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and fish liver oils are among the best sources. An animal’s diet affects the amount of vitamin D in its tissues. Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks have small amounts of vitamin D. Mushrooms provide variable amounts of vitamin D. Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D in American diets, but if we aren’t eating fortified milks, juices, or packaged foods – we are missing out.
Eat a varied diet. And get outside in the sun *without sunscreen* for 20 to 30 minutes each day. Let your face, arms, and upper chest, at least, be exposed to the sun, then if it is the summer – put on some mineral sunscreen, if winter – put on your coat, and talk to your provider about a supplement.
If you are doing any last-minute gift giving for teachers, coworkers, or friends gifting health from Box of Good might just be the ticket (or email). You can email them directly from our site, pick the day you want them to receive it, write them a note and then the recipient can easily redeem it at their leisure.
Have a great week,
Tristan, Joelle and the Box of Good crew