Shorter days, less Vit D.
Plus: Recipes packed with nutrients you body needs.
"Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth." - Unknown
Thursday. I was today years old when I learned that Panera sells a ‘Charged Lemonade’ containing as much as 390 mg of caffeine. That’s more than a Red Bull and Monser energy drink combined. Panera is actually being sued by the family of a college student with a heart condition who died after drinking one of these atomic lemonades. Heart condition or not—that is a lot of caffeine. I am anxious just thinking about it. Moving on to something else that makes me a little anxious—shorter days are coming. What does that mean for your health? Let’s dive in.
Together with Inside Hotels
Hotels We Love: Hotel Effie
Hotel Effie is all about beauty—beautiful views, beautiful food, and beautiful experiences.
Located on Choctawhatchee Bay, there’s plenty to do around here for the whole family, including tons of places to go golfing and bike paths galore. Spacious rooms, some with balconies, offer guests comfortable beds, beautiful views, and fresh sea air wafting through the windows. The dining here is exquisite, and with on-site fine dining restaurant Ovide’s newly refreshed menu, you’ll be quite pleased to munch on some seasonal Gulf Coast cuisine. And with a spa that utilizes Biologique Recherche and OSEA products in their treatments, you’ll leave feeling refreshed and oh-so-calm.
Shorter Days, Less Vit D
Winter is here, and you know what that means—shorter days, less sunlight, and a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency. This essential vitamin helps us maintain good bone health and plays a critical role in our body’s defense against infections and diseases.
Interestingly, there’s also new research suggesting that vitamin D might be an unsung hero in the fight against dementia, a disease that impacts memory and other important mental functions.
So why do we need vitamin D even more during the winter? Simple, we’re getting less sunshine, which is one of the primary ways our body produces this vital nutrient. Less exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet B rays makes it hard for our skin to produce enough vitamin D. This becomes a particular concern for those who live in northern regions, where the daylight is minimal.
If you have darker skin, the melanin in it diminishes your skin's capacity to produce vitamin D. Therefore, ensuring you have enough vitamin D is essential all year, but it becomes especially vital for optimizing your health during the winter months.
Now, let’s talk about the dementia connection. A recent ten-year study of over 12,000 people has shown that taking vitamin D supplements might offer us some extra years of life without dementia. The research indicates that adequate vitamin D levels could reduce the risk of developing dementia by 40%. The results were particularly strong for women and individuals with no signs of cognitive decline.
That said, people with a particular gene called APOE ε4, linked to a higher risk of dementia, did not see significant benefits. But hey, if vitamin D supplementation can offer a protective boost for the rest of the population, why not consider it?
However, like all good things, vitamin D should be consumed in moderation. Too much of it can lead to toxicity, which could be harmful to your kidneys. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin D is between 600 to 800 IU for adults. If you’re concerned about getting too much, you don’t have to worry about overdose from food or sun exposure; the risk comes mainly from supplements. Health experts advise not exceeding 4,000 IU per day to avoid any toxic side effects.
Now, if you’re not a fan of supplements, you can opt for natural sources like oily fish such as mackerel, tuna, and sardines or go for fortified dairy and nondairy substitutes. Mushrooms are another excellent dietary source of vitamin D. And let’s not forget the good old sunshine. Just 15 minutes a day can give you a healthy dose of natural vitamin D. Just keep in mind that you ideally want full body sun exposure, meaning face and torso.
The key takeaway? As we bundle up for winter, consider paying extra attention to vitamin D, whether through diet, supplements, or a quick stroll outside. Your future self might thank you not just for stronger bones and a better immune system but possibly also for additional years of clear thinking and precious memories.
1. Beautiful Color, Packed With Flavor, Full Of Nutrients
Beets and hummus combined. This dip is one of my favorites. Enjoy!
2. So Simple, So Good
This simple omelet is packed with the nutrients and protein you need to start your day. Enjoy!
3. The Perfect Salad!
This butter lettuce salad has it all. Use it as a side for dinner or add some protein for the perfect lunch.
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