Nothing Says Happy Valentine’s Day Like the Sunshine Vitamin

As Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and whether you've got a S/O or not, perhaps you're hoping to maybe get a card, some flowers or chocolates. But you should really be wishing for some vitamin D!

Okay, I'm really only kidding, although D comes after C, vitamin D doesn't seem nearly as appetizing and romantic as chocolates, but it surely shouldn't be over looked.

In North America especially, vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in our populations.

Nearly every cell in the body contains a vitamin D receptor, it can be synthesized via sun ray absorption through the skin. Other sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, cod liver oil and egg yolks. However, most individuals cannot intake enough vitamin D through diet alone and supplement with capsules or drops.

It is often said that individuals should consume 1000 IU of vitamin D a day. However, this isn't enough, especially for those who do not consume fish or eggs or for those who live in colder climates with long winters thus, having limited outdoor exposure. According to The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, no matter your age group, you should be consuming AT LEAST 6000 IU of vitamin D, daily.

You may be wondering: why should I care or even bother to take vitamin D? Well, from personal experience, I have been told by every health practitioner I have ever seen that I, along with everyone else, I should be supplementing with vitamin D daily and here's why.

Other than assisting in immune system regulation (which is vital enough of its own), vitamin D allows our body to absorb calcium and phosphorus, two extremely important minerals for the support of healthy and strong bones, teeth and even disease-resistance. In fact, according to an article by the University of Maryland Medical Center, 85% of the body's phosphorus is found in our bones and teeth.

Without enough vitamin D, we are putting the health and strength of our bones, teeth and immunity at risk. When you're young and healthy this doesn't seem like it would ever be a problem, but optimal health is often about prevention. Ensuring you consume enough vitamin D will help prevent future disease like osteoporosis and osteomalacia, two diseases both related to low bone density, softness and weakness, which in turn could contribute to greater bone fractures, even in young children. Increased vitamin D deficiency is also associated with increased risk of cancer and low immunity.

With that being said, and to end on a positive note, because it is the sunshine vitamin after all, vitamin D has also been found to help with depression, weight loss and disease prevention.

So, go ahead! Don't be shy to soak up some vitamin D, your body will thank you.