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Vitamin D, I Heart Thee.
Have you been hanging too much in your cave lately? Sweet vampire, have you been too afraid of the light?
If so, lean over, I’ve got a Dirty secret.
If the Sun and your Skin had a lovechild, it would have to be Vitamin D. It occurs naturally in the body when sunlight touches you gently with those bright fingers.
It has enormous benefits for your health. It is the single most powerful medicine that your body produces naturally and best of all, it’s free.
It is one of your strongest bodyguards against cancer because it slows down wild cell mutation. It prevents osteoporosis and other kinds of demineralization by helping your intestines absorb a greater quantity of calcium and other vital minerals.
Without vitamin D, you need not bother taking calcium or other vitamin supplements because your body just won’t get the idea.
Vitamin D also helps prevent and reverse diabetes and obesity. It strengthens your immune system, protects you from psoriasis, hypertension, rickets (children alert) and other bone and immune related maladies.
You know your D-deposits are low when you experience sensitivity to light. Your eyes should be happy to greet the sunlight, not blink in terror or cry like they’ve never been outside before.
Thank God you’re not a celebrity so you don’t have to wear those thick, dark sunglasses that separate you from the rest of mortals and impede the vital D from entering your body. And if you are, thank God you still have the ability to take them off.
You also know that your D-love is cooling when your muscles and bones start to mysteriously hurt. What hit me yesterday and why can’t I remember? Acne and depression are other two littlemonsters that may show up in D’s absence.
Those of you with darker skin; who work or spend a lot of time indoors; and/or suffer from obesity are at a higher risk for D-deficiency. Watch the videos below to find out why.
To check your D-deposits, go take a D-test.
The Ways of D
So if you’re low on D (which is most likely), should you drug yourself daily with a supplement in order not to have to worry about, you know, being so hot into the Light?
Should you fill your toilet – as some clever experts love to remark — with “expensive urine”?
The first and most natural answer is No. Your number one lover is the Sun. Love him back and you’ll be half way there.
Of course, it would also help if we didn’t live in cities; or far from the equator; or spent most of our days inside a building in order to make a living; or if our D-affair weren’t constantly betrayed by so many dark, 21st century troubles.
Consequently, the second answer would have to be Yes. Because in every great, human love story, there’s obstacles between the Sun and You.
Most of the time you are not getting all the vit-D you need, unless you’re reading this from your hammock in Ecuador and sipping coconut water by the beach (you lucky B).
Some nutrition authorities affirm that vitamin D can also be obtained from animal products. They are right to a certain extent, but in no way can you absorb enough D from flesh or body fluids and not nearly as much as from its Number One source, the Sun.
As a non-psycho-vegan, I’m fine with animal-D as long as it stays in the animal. Not so fine, of course, with all the other problems coming from animal products: cruelty, antibiotics, cholesterol, demineralization, heart disease, pollution, cancer, environmental damage, etc.
So, considering the importance of this vitamin and how difficult it is to obtain it naturally on a daily basis for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike, I’d rather take a supplement – not to substitute my sun exposure, but to make up for what falls short of my ideal D.
They say: Dear Life, give me money, love and health. The way I see it, being sick is much worse than being poor or single, and though I’d trade money for freedom and coupleship for a good cause (but only if I had to), health is untradeable.
Health is the one thing that helps you live through and fully experience everything else. In health, I’d rather be safe than sorry. I’d rather pee the extra D than have my body pee on me.
There is no need to go to the other extreme either: from zero D to wild, every-meal kind of D. It really depends on your circumstances and your levels.
You can take one dosage every other day. Or anytime when, for any reason, you’re low on Sunny Honey. Your body may not assimilate all the D you’re swallowing, but it will assimilate something.
And that something may not be a lot but it is definitely better than nothing.
A bite of D
The best way to take “fake” vitamin D is with a fatty meal. And by “fatty” I don’t mean the Cholesterol Trio of Death: Trans, Hydrogenated and/or Evil-Saturated; but healthier fatties (Omegas, Polyunsaturated and Happily-Saturated).
There are plenty: avocadoes, olives, nuts, cold-pressed vegetable oils, seeds – and Fish Oils for non-vegans though I don’t want to get kicked out of Veganism for mentioning this…
The recommended amounts vary depending on what side of the story you’re listening to: the Government’s version or the Health Warriors’ version.
To know just how much D you need, you’d have to take into consideration your current levels, as well as the recommended amounts.
Government says ‘little to nothing’ (200-400 IU – International Units a day), Health Revolution says ‘the more the better’ (2000-4000 IU a day). I’m with the Revolution.
As for the Sun’s version of D, let there be no interference. Do you touch other people through a screen or make love with your clothes on? Well, even if you do, know that D doesn’t penetrate through glass, walls or sunscreen. Get naked.
D friends & enemies
Like any hero, D has opponents. Mr. Gluten (my ex), is one of the main D inhibitors. Even if you don’t have Celiac disease, you might be allergic to gluten or not digest it properly and not be aware of it.
On the other hand, Mr. Magnesium (my current vita-love) helps pave D’s way into the body. Most people who are low on the D are also, coincidentally, low on Magnesium. So you might want to put the M next to the D, in that green smoothie of yours.
Here are some trustworthy resources to get your D-liciousness back on:
Whether you like Dr. Oz or not, the man is usually on healthy fire and at least half of what he says is crazy-true (six minutes, it won’t kill you):
And if you have six more, another conspiracy (but interesting enough) take on D:
More D-juice for the pale vampire:
You can download a copy of the D-report from Natural News here:http://www.naturalnews.com/rr-sunlight.html
Dr. Andrew Weil’s recommendations. Wise Man Alert:http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02812/vitamin-d
Vitamin D is so cool it even has a Council: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/
Dr. Mercola may be controversial at times and may even exploit any chance to make you subscribe to every breath he takes, but he is also great at what he does and has a lot of useful information on the D-dilemma.
Check out his D-story here (and of course, subscribe, for God’s sake): http://www.mercola.com/article/vitamin-d-resources.htm / And don’t tell him I said this but you can also watch his Vit-D sermon here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlXdegk2icA. I highly recommend this talk.
One final D…
If you’re a recent convert to D-ism and need a little push to welcome D into your daily ritual, post thisNote to Self on the bathroom mirror so it’s the first thing you see when you get up:
It’s D-day, Sunshine.
Ditch the cave.
Load on some Sunlight.
You can even add a jazzy tune to it and do an improv in the shower (not that I do it). But if jazzing it is too much, just say it out loud a few times and I guarantee you that at least some sort of ridiculous blood will slowly start coming back to your lifeless cheeks.
[Photo: Robert Doisneau]
~ Previously posted at Elephant Journal ~