Time Change! Love it or hate it, it just happens and we deal with it….
What exactly does this change in time do? Well, it can mess with our sleep, but thats for another blog… Of a bigger topic for now is how going back in the fall means we have a distinct visible loss of daylight at the end of our work and school days.
Regardless if we change time or not, there is just so much less daylight right now, and until Dec 21st, the days will just keep getting shorter, until that shortest day of the year. Then we start to slowly add about 2 minutes of daylight back to our start and end of our days starting on Dec 22nd, which give us hope for those lovely long summer nights!!!
So, that lack of daylight…. What can we do about it?
The Sunshine Vitamin!
First thing that comes to mind with less light during the day is - Vitamin D! We have an absolute need for more Vitamin D in the darker winter months. Supplementing can be incredibly helpful, but we can also aim to add in more vitamin D containing foods.
Foods with a good amount of Vitamin D
Vitamin D3 is found is many animal based foods - fish, eggs, beef liver, caviar, milk (fortified). Note - cod liver oil is most abundant source of Vitamin D3.
Vitamin D2 (the other type of Vitamin D), is found mostly in mushrooms. Interestingly, if mushrooms are left out the in sun, gills up, for 2 days at about 6 hours a day, they increase in vitamin D, from 100UI in 100 grams to 46,000UI in the same 100grams. Wow! 460 times more! Mushrooms create vitamin D from the sun just like we do.
Note: Vitamin D3 is found to be the most effective at increase blood serum levels of Vitamin D in humans.
Since Vitamin D is one of our 4 fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), it is best to eat it, or take supplements of it, with a source of fat in order to best absorb those nutrients. Foods such as an avocado, cheese, eggs, nuts, etc.
Note - all of these foods have many additional important and healthy nutrients. I do not want to isolate the importance of just certain nutrients, I am just pointing out Vitamin D can be hard to get in most foods and it’s specific impact on health is more and more recognized.
Why is Vitamin D important?
The role that Vitamin D plays is quite complex. Its linked to immune, bone, and brain health, as well as weight management. However, Vitamin D’s link to cancer is incredibly interesting. There are many studies showing a link to low Vitamin D and cancer risk.
Of special note is Vitamin D and late tooth eruption. Do you have a youngster with late tooth eruption? Try bumping up their Vitamin D intake. If they take no Vitamin D yet, start with 400IU, if they take 400IU, bump it up to 1,000IU. My own personal experience was seeing 11 teeth in 11 weeks finally make their move. It was a definite factor after waiting years and watching X-rays to see what was going on.
Some symptoms of low Vitamin D:
Weakened immune system
Inflammation and swelling
Poor tooth eruption
Even though these can be also symptoms of many other health issues, it may be a good idea to see your doctor and ask for a lab test to check your vitamin D levels, just to see where they are at.
I know many, myself included, who have been shocked at what the levels were. This information allowed me to take action to improve those levels and monitor with additional tests every few months until it is in an optimal range.
And as always, get outside and get some sun on your face!
Have a great week!