6 Amazing Vitamin D Benefits

Shine from the inside out with these healthy benefits of the sunshine vitamin.

Sep 4, 2020

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Looking for something to improve your mood, strengthen immunity, and reduce pain, all wrapped into one? Vitamin D stands out as one of the most important nutrients to have you looking and feeling your best.

Many nickname it the “sunshine vitamin” because your body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin. This impressive vitamin has plenty of health benefits, from supporting immunity and gut health to helping to prevent diseases like cancer.

Unfortunately, many people just don’t get enough! According to a study, nearly half of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Since the primary source of vitamin D is sunlight, those who live in colder, seasonal climates don’t spend enough time outside.

In addition, it is a challenge to get vitamin D nutritionally as it is not naturally found in many foods. According to Healthline, eating wild salmon, wild mushrooms, herring, egg yolk, and cod liver oil can naturally supplement your intake of this precious vitamin.

So what are some easy ways to get more of the sunshine vitamin? Health professionals at the National Institutes of Health’s  Fact Sheet recommends going outdoors to get at least five to 30 minutes of daily sun exposure. Or, you can take a supplement to meet the recommended daily amount of 600 IU. If you are wondering what is vitamin D good for, here are six shining benefits! 

Boosts mood

Feeling blue? Getting enough vitamin D can boost your mood and can even ward off depression and anxiety. A study found that just one hour of light therapy with an exposure to vitamin D significantly decreased depressive symptoms.

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May help to strengthen immunity

Vitamin D plays an especially important role in keeping up your body’s defenses. According to this study, healthy levels can help keep your immune system strong, including fighting against respiratory illnesses. 

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Supports metabolism

If you want to improve metabolic health, try adding vitamin D supplements into your diet. A study found that people who took a combination of calcium and vitamin D supplements regulated weight more easily and experienced reduced appetite. 

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May help prevent cancer

A study reported that vitamin D may reduce the risk of several forms of cancer including colon, breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer. Vitamin D reduces cellular growth, which promotes diseases in the body like cancer.

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Eases aches and pains

If you experience frequent muscle or joint pain, the sunshine vitamin could do wonders. Clinical trials studied patients suffering from chronic back pain and spasms. They received 50,000 IU of oral vitamin D once a week. After 12 weeks, they reported an impressive 70 percent improvement in symptoms.

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Promotes gut health

Get a good gut feeling with a healthy dose of the sunshine vitamin. Adequate vitamin D promotes a healthy gut microbiome, an important component of good health and preventing disease, according to research published in Frontiers in Immunology

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ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.