Like all vitamins in our body, they work together in harmony, like a symphony orchestra. When one is out of whack it affects the whole body. My improving your vitamin D levels you:
- lower your risk of cancer by 30-50%
- lower your risk of heart attacks and stroke by 50%
- lower your risk of getting the flu by 40%
- lowers the risk of preterm babies by 50%
- lowers risk for dementia, diabetes, and depression
And in general it helps to fight all colds and illnesses and help repair DNA and metabolic processes. As you can see it pretty much affects everything... It's just something you don't want to live without!
Where can I get it
Vitamin D is present in some foods but simply not at the levels needed. Many Americans drink lots of vitamin D fortified milk and eat fish thinking their good but it's simply not working. We have got to get out in the fresh air and sunshine! Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin! The best and most reliable and readily available source of this vitamin is made when in our bodies when we expose our face, arms, and hands to sunshine.
God made us to be outdoors. To garden, tend the land, breath fresh air. But we have created lifestyles that comfortably keep us inside all the time.
How much sunshine do I need?
And really you don't have to be out there all day. It's actually not as long as you think.
The scientists at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research made this super cool Vitamind D website that allows you to figure out how long you need to be outside.
In typical scientist fashion it's not super user friendly to the common layman so these tips will help out:
- the latitude on there is in "North" and longitude is in "East" So if your longitude/latitude is South or West you'll need to put a minus sign ( - ) in front of the number. Ex: If your latitude is 41 S, type -41, or if you longitude is 56 W, type -56. You can go to this page for a quick listing of major cities, but I think the best way is to just google it. I quickly found the altitude of my city on a Wikipedia article.
- It mentions "ozone", just put it at medium.
- You also need to know your altitude....in kilometers :) So first google: "What is the altitude of [insert city name]." Just get as close an estimate as possible.
I was super surprised to see that in the summer, I only needed to be outside at midday, every other day, for 4 min (granted I do live in AZ, but I was expecting to see like 45 min which still is not that hard to obtain). Further surprising, on a cloudy day, for only 14 min. And even in December on a cloudless day it only went up to 25min. Now if there are clouds or it becomes overcast the amount required can jump to 2 hours, BUT the good news is I have read many articles that vitamin D can be stored in our bodies (in the fat and liver) for overcast (or snowy) winter months.
This makes much sense to me as God provided this kind of mechanism in many of our other bodily functions, such as fasting, being able to live off of our reserves. Or having reserves for lean times. Not surprising at all that it would exist in Vitamin D as well. But my recommendation? Don't rely on any theoretical "stores." Make getting outside a way of life!!!!
Ideas to get outside more
I have purposely done away with a dryer to force myself to hang dry my clothes. It forces me to get outside each day. Others might do a morning run or workout to get their vitamin D. I also have a garden and trees that I tend to on the ranch. Park at the back of a parking lot. Not only will you get a small workout but doing that consistently will add up to lots more vitamin D.
Children are grossly deficient in Vitamin D as well. To me that is so sad and a reflection on how much they are inside playing video games and watching TV. I remember one time I had a party on the ranch and some city kids came with their parents and after 10 min of being here they were begging to go home because they were bored. I just remember thinking to myself... 5 acres to run free on and do whatever you want....every kind of animal imaginable....and they don't know what to do with themselves. How sad. Even legos and toys can keep your kids inside. I totally understand that. Make the kids play outside for 30 min before they can do their inside stuff.
What other ways you think of to make yourself and kids get outside more? Make it a non-negotiable part of your life that you are getting outside frequently.
Sunscreen actually prevents you from getting Vitamin D. The sun has gotten a really bad rap and I could write a long article (and some day I will) about how the sun is not to be feared when you are eating raw foods and avoiding all animal products. This sounds crazy and hard to believe but that's because you probably have never tried this and don't know anyone who has. Skin cancer and sun burn are a results of not having a body that can protect you from the sun. God didn't make our bodies with the requirement that we need to go in the sun to get vitamin D and then make us unable to go out and get it for risk of burn or cancer!
I have experienced eating mostly raw, all vegan and having a natural skin protecting mechanism in my body, and my natural fair skin didn't burn, even in a pool in the middle of AZ summer during the height of the sun for hours.
And I've also deviated from that diet and got the WORST sunburn of my life that yielded blisters and was extremely painful for a full 2 weeks (I thought I was still protected but I wasn't because I was eating hardly any raw and lots of animal products, deceived by The Westin Price Diet folks).
So with that said....whether you choose to vegan (with 85% raw foods) or not*--most can stand to go outside for 30 min with no sunblock.
*(But I highly recommend looking into eating a raw food, vegan diet. The benefits go far beyond not sunburning, you also will not need deodorant anymore, you will live longer - anywhere from 10-40 years longer. Also the raw vegan diet is the only one that can cure cancer naturally, as well as many other diseases and illnesses.)