While the sunshine typically evokes images of summertime barbecues or relaxing days at the beach, the sun is now commonly linked to Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin.” The hype over Vitamin D is certainly not unwarranted. Vitamin D plays a huge role in your overall health, most famously for helping maintain strong and healthy bones. However, Vitamin D also helps with many other bodily functions, including those of the heart, lungs, muscles, brain and immune system. On top of that, Dr. Michael Donaldson, Research Director at the Hallelujah Diet, says, “Sun exposure feeds our pineal gland, sometimes referred to as our third eye. It is buried deep in our brain behind the eyes between the two hemispheres of the brain. The pineal gland produces melatonin, which affects circadian rhythms and is a terrific antioxidant.” According to the Vitamin D Council, research suggests that a deficiency in Vitamin D plays a part in at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects and periodontal disease. Now there’s a reason to pay attention. Although it’s called a vitamin, Vitamin D is technically a hormone, which is why the body is able to produce it itself—when it’s exposed to sunshine. The UV index must be three or higher in order for your body to begin producing Vitamin D. All other vitamins must be consumed through diet. The very few foods, such as cod liver and salmon, that do contain Vitamin D are so scant in Vitamin D that it will not make a difference (not to mention vegans don’t eat these foods). The good news is “if you replace sunshine only with vitamin D in a supplement, you are getting the full benefits,” according to Dr. Michael Donaldson, Research Director at the Hallelujah Diet. Try the Hallelujah Diet VITAMIN D3-K2. It’s important to ensure you take Vitamin D3—the form the body makes from cholesterol when it’s exposed to sunshine. The K2 is important to keep calcium out of the blood and in the bones. The following groups are known to have lower Vitamin D levels, according to the Vitamin D Council. If you belong to any of these groups, be extra diligent about your daily Vitamin D intake.
- Individuals with darker skin.
- Individuals who spend most if not all of their time indoors.
- Individuals who regularly protect their skin from the sun with clothes and sunscreen.
- Individuals who live farther away from the equator.
- The elderly, as their thin skin is less able to product Vitamin D.
- Breastfed infants.
- Pregnant women.
- Overweight or obese individuals.