Are you getting enough vitamin D?

Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for optimal health. This fat-soluble vitamin is produced in the body through exposure to sunlight. However, most of us don’t get enough sunshine in winter to produce adequate levels of vitamin D in our bodies.

It’s good to get your levels checked yearly with your doctor. However, if you know your levels are low then taking a good quality vitamin D is important. If you’re not sure where your levels are at, it’s still a good idea to ensure your diet has some high-quality sources of vitamin D.

Small amounts of vitamin D can be found in fatty fish such as herring, salmon, tuna and sardines, as well as beef, liver, butter, and eggs. Our bodies store vitamin D so it’s important to eat high-quality foods which contain this nutrient. Go for wild fish, organic eggs and grass-fed meat to get the best possible nutrition.

Vitamin D is well known for being vital to bone health. However, here are five other reasons why you need vitamin D to improve your overall health:

  1. It enhances your immune system to keep you well over winter.
  2. It helps maintain muscle strength.
  3. It is essential for normal insulin secretion, which helps balance your blood. sugar levels. This therefore has an effect on your energy levels, mood and weight.
  4. It helps modulate our neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which helps you feel happy.
  5. Adequate levels of vitamin D have been shown in trials to reduce the incidence of all cancers.

This small nutrient is powerful in the body. So include some of the above food sources in your diet or take a high-quality supplement to maintain or elevate your health this winter!

Image credit: Thinkstock
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Cassie Mendoza-Jones is a kinesiologist, naturopath and writer for women who feel stuck, unworthy and disconnected to themselves. In working with her, women move into what she calls “heartfelt harmony” – a state of balance, ease and vitality. Through her Heartfelt Harmony Society courses + guides, eBooks and free resources, she’s here to help you shake up your approach to self-care, self-worth and self-acceptance on every level, while making it all feel like nourishing yourself without feeling guilty for it is the simplest thing in the world. (Truth: it can be.) Her upcoming book with Hay House is due for release in early 2016, and her lessons and insights have been featured in publications such as Body + Soul, and on popular websites such as Sporteluxe, news.com.au, Vogue.com.au, and smh.com.au. She’s spoken at events and workshops around Australia for a variety of companies, including LinkedIn. When she’s not working with clients, or creating new books, online courses and programs, she’s getting lost in a good novel, hanging out in a cafe or suiting up for a yoga class. Meet Cassie + get ready to find the most balanced, centred version of yourself at www.elevatevitality.com.au and www.heartfeltharmony.com.