Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wellness Wednesday - Vitamin D


Well it was a fabulous day to get some good 'ole Vitamin D from the sun here in Pittsburgh!

Hannah's nutritionist told me not to put sunscreen on Hannah right away when she goes out to play. SCARY right? I'm a sunscreen spaz. Not only do I bathe my child in it before she goes out to play, but I spray every kid in the radius of my sunscreen bottle as well - sometimes without asking their parents. I'm obsessed!

But, I worry about Han not receiving enough of the important vitamin and trust the nutritionist. On days like today when I went to the park when the sun was blazing at 3pm, I didn't mess with it - I just put it on her. But, this morning when we were outside for 10 minutes blowing bubbles, I let her go out without any.

According to the Mayo Clinic, you can find vitamin D in foods like fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil. But, it states that the sun contributes significantly to our body's production of the vitamin. It is thought that as little as 10 minutes of exposure is enough to prevent deficiencies.

Why is it so important? It helps maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. It helps with the absorption of calcium to keep bones strong. It's even thought recently to prevent osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cancer and some autoimmune diseases.

So, wait a few minutes (just a few) before slathering on that sunscreen. You won't burn or even get a tan line - but you'll get some of that vitamin D producing sun that boosts your mood and your health without doing a thing!

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