Vitamin D is an essential nutrient we all need but rarely get enough of. Deficiency is common, as an average of 42% of people have a vitamin D deficiency. While that may not seem like something to fuss over, those who lack the sunshine vitamin are seriously missing out!
We harness this fat-soluble secosteroid’s power by spending time in the sun and consuming products such as fish, mushrooms, and fortified dairy. Our bodies then absorb and use it for bodily processes such as bone building and immune support. Read on to learn more about the impressive health benefits of vitamin D, from a healthy heart to a lower risk of anxiety and depression.
Vitamin D helps the gut absorb calcium and phosphorus, two minerals your body needs to build and maintain strong bones. They support the bone mineralization process, which is what makes your bones dense and hard.
A Healthy Heart
Vitamin D has also been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. It improves and repairs the blood vessel walls’ lining, which allows blood to flow freely to and from the heart.
A Merry Mood
Another health benefit of vitamin D is that it can potentially help curb feelings of depression. People with clinical depression commonly have low vitamin D levels, and there are several theories as to why this is the case. Some believe deficiencies cause depression. Others believe the inverse—that depression causes vitamin D deficiencies, because those with depression are less likely to go outside and therefore get less vitamin D from the sun.
Researchers need to further study the correlation between vitamin D and depression before they come to a solid conclusion. But so far, studies have shown a promising decrease in depression symptoms in deficient people who took vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties. It improves the function of immune cells like T cells and macrophages, which help your body battle infection and disease. Therefore, a deficiency in this vitamin can compromise the immune system and make you more likely to get sick.
There’s a reason why vitamin D is essential: it keeps your brain active and your body healthy. To reap all the benefits, learn the best ways to manage your vitamin D levels and maintain a normal range for stable long-term health.