The Importance of Vitamin D

With Autumn growing colder and Winter on the way, going outside is becoming an unpleasant thing. It is becoming a huge issue among dancers to have a vitamin D deficiency. This is partly because they are indoors all day rehearsing and are not spending enough time in the sun. It is also hard to get your daily dose of vitamin D in the winter when it's too cold outside. It is extremely important that you get your daily dose of vitamin D because it:

  • helps you absorb important nutrients and calcium to build strong bones and immune system

  • helps balance calcium levels and prevents arthritis

  • regulates blood pressure

  • aids in insulin secretion

  • improves kidney function

  • relieves muscle cramps, spasms, aches, and pains

  • controls abnormal development of cells that could lead to cancer

  • aids in weight loss

  • improves eye sight

  • keeps the brain healthy

  • and, prevents premature aging

There are so many more benefits of maintaining a healthy amount of vitamin D in your body! Vitamin D can be found in various foods such as salmon (Alaskan wild-caught), eggs, mushrooms, herring, sardines, and rainbow trout. For better absorption, combine these foods with ones that are rich in vitamin K-basil, kale, scallions, Brussels sprouts, chili powder, asparagus, fennel, leeks, olive oil, and prunes.

The best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D is by spending 15-20 minutes in the sun between the times of 10 and 2. If you aren't able to be in the sun, you can always try a Tablespoon of cod liver oil (Green Pasture Products, Blue Ice Cod Liver Oil) a day. It is important, if you choose to take a supplement, that you take magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D all together. Alone, each can cause certain health issues.

If you don't eat enough fats, you will not be able to absorb these vitamins properly. Adding healthy fats to your diet is a great idea. I recommends foods such as, herring, mackerel, walnuts, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado. Avoid fat-free or low-fat options as they are not beneficial to your body at all.

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms:

As with any illness, it is important to know the symptoms in order to aid in the diagnosis. This type of vitamin deficiency has pretty nonspecific symptoms including fatigue and body aches. When the deficiency gets worse, bones can become affected causing bone deformations and diseases such as rickets and osteoporosis.

  • severe weakness in the muscles and bone

  • painful bones under moderate pressure