Vancouverites and tourists both realize that rain can be utterly depressing not to mention annoyingly wet. Many regard Vancouver as a city that never stops raining – around nine months to be exact! Having lived and schooled in California for a part of my life, I can say that we Vancouverites have it great – the lush greenery, crisp fresh air, and having to not use the AC, or a shovel (for snow) is an added bonus. One area we are lacking in is our daily dose of Vitamin D (and Vitamin K2 aiding in bone density). Since the sun does not always shine during the rainy season, we ought to make sure we have the right intake from good sources.
The *Canadian Cancer Society recommends Canadians (see link below) take 1,000 IU of Vitamin D per day (two major forms are Vitamin D2 and D3), especially during the fall / winter months when sunshine is not common; Babies who are exclusively breast-fed are recommended to have 400 IU of Vitamin D per day. Interestingly, many alternative health professionals are recommending an even higher dose of around 5000 – 10,000 IU (adults) for good reason (www.mercola.com). Vitamin D is fat-soluble and simply accumulates in one’s fat over the summer with sun exposure (15 Min’s a day), and then decreases in its storage over the late winter months. Generally, we can also get this miracle vitamin from food and supplements – the latest miracle being a boost for lymphoma survival rates. Notably, Vitamin D3, the most valuable and potent form plays an important part of maintaining normal blood levels of calcium and storage of phosphorus.
A lack of Vitamin D can result in childhood diseases such as rickets (impeded growth), brittle bones (osteoporosis), and thinning bones (osteomalacia). Furthermore, without sufficient Vitamin D there has been a link between cancer, high blood pressure, TB, dental diseases, MS, SAD, chronic pain, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and memory loss to name a few. Proper and primary intake of Vitamin D should be through foods along with sun exposure and supplementation. Foods such as fish (sockeye being the best), fish liver oils, as well as small amounts of it being found in egg yolks, some mushrooms, cheese and beef liver – fortified foods can also be included (milk, soy, rice, orange juice, yogurt). A general rule of thumb is to get your supply from the sun outside of 11 – 4 pm when highest radiation levels are evident (or a UV index of 4 or higher).
The key is to not apply sunscreen which can block the vitamin from entering the body, eat a whole foods diet (organic and raw is best), drink purified water, exercise regularly, and most importantly, take Vitamin D3 natural supplement if you live in Vancouver. These tips will most likely chase and beat your winter blues away!