While sunlight is the best natural source of vitamin D, many of us have been avoiding the sun out of fear of skin cancer and premature aging of our skin. We have been frightened out of the daylight! Avoiding all sun exposure or using sunscreen whenever going outside is now linked to the reality that 70-90% of North Americans do not get enough vitamin D.
Our 21st century lifestyle of spending too much time indoors in front of the television, computers and other electronic devices, makes us vitamin D deficient as well. This deficiency is at the root of many chronic diseases including cancer, multiple sclerosis, depression, chronic pain, osteoporosis, obesity, gum disease, cavities and more.
Our body manufactures vitamin D3 out of cholesterol in the presence of sunlight. We need exposure to UVB rays to manufacture our own vitamin D! All cells, tissues and organs in our bodies have vitamin D receptors. These receptors await the arrival of vitamin D to perform various vital functions. Vitamin D is needed for calcium and phosphorus absorption, making it essential for strong bones, healthy teeth and normal growth.
Although safe exposure of our skin to sunshine is the ideal way to obtain vitamin D, external conditions such as time of day, cloud cover, smog and others, can affect how much vitamin D our body can synthesize as a result being exposed to the sun. Additionally, in many parts of the country, because of the angle of the sun's rays, people at northern latitudes cannot get sufficient vitamin D exposure during the winter months. Eating the following healthy foods can assist with providing the body with naturally occurring Vitamin D.