It’s about time for warmer weather! One of the great joys that come about as we approach the end of winter is Day Light Savings Time. This marks a transition from longer nights, to longer (and warmer) days with more sunshine!

As we know, too much sun light without proper protection can have negative effects on our health. On the contrary, too little sunlight can cause our bodies to lack necessary Vitamin D. This vitamin is necessary for many bodily functions, particularly bone development and strength. Without Vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle and misshapen. Vitamin D also promotes general cell growth and absorption of nutrients, and strengthens our immune systems.

Our bodies naturally produce Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. However, a healthy balanced diet is also necessary for maintaining healthy levels of Vitamin D. See the below tips to increase Vitamin D intake. Remember to consult with your physician to evaluate vitamin levels and establish proper steps moving forward.

Did You Know?

  • Day Light Savings Time begins Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 2:00AM
  • Benjamin Franklin conceived the idea of Day Light Savings Time
  • Nearly 10% of U.S. adults are Vitamin D deficient
  • Individuals with darker skin pigmentation produce less vitamin D from sun light
  • Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and Arizona are a few regions in the U.S. that do not observe Day Light Savings Time

Tips for Increasing Vitamin D Intake

  1. Consume fortified drinks: A glass of fortified milk or orange juice contains around 100 IUs of vitamin D (about 16% of daily recommendation).
  2. Diets rich in vitamin D: Fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and trout; canned tuna and sardines; egg yolks, and beef liver are great options.
  3. Spend some time in the sun: 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM at least twice a week without sunscreen is recommended by researchers (if you decide to stay out any longer, make sure to properly protect your skin).
  4. Vitamin D in other forms: The recommended dietary allowance for adults is 600 IU of Vitamin D a day (700 IUs a day for those over 70). Consult with your physician to decide if a supplement is right for you!

Sources:  National Institutes for Health, WebMD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayo Clinic, LifeWork Strategies EAP, and Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your physician. Feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.