Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vitamin D

Sending your children outside for some play time benefits them in more ways than you may know. Their imaginations have a chance to be free, their bodies can roam, and the fresh air is good for the lungs. Outside time is refreshing, energy building, and an opportunity for kids (and Momma's) to connect with a creative God who designed clouds, big sky, sun, and endlessly fascinating movements of nature for us.

Outside time is good. But, did you know it could keep dangerous inflammation at bay?

Inflammation in the body is the root cause of many diseases such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and dementia (just to name a few). We do not want inflammation in our body. One of the ways that inflammation can occur is through our bodies inability to cope with the enormous amount of sugars we flood our system with in modern diets. Our bodies were not designed to deal with sugar in the level we consume it today and therefor the body is playing "catch up" rather than fulfilling its design to sustain us. According to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly written by Dr. Rohde anytime the blood sugar level is above 100 it literally begins to attack our bodies causing damage to tissues and leading to inflammation!

A good first step in reducing this tissue damage and steering clear of inflammation is to avoid refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, anything labeled low/no fat, and processed foods. 

A second step is to go outside! Often! And, without sunscreen.
I know we here so often the importance of using sunscreen and I am not here to dispute that. (Although we do not use sunscreen, we instead use coconut oil with great results in both skin care and sun protection.) I am suggestion, however, that at least once a day you and your family do venture into the outdoors without sunscreen on so that you can actually produce Vitamin D within your body as a result of the sun's rays. Wearing just 15 SPF reduces your bodies Vitamin D production by 99%!

Getting outside can be difficult for us northerners who freeze come December through March. But, it must be done. Bundle up, keep the face free of sunscreen for a little bit, and soak up some rays playing in the snow.
Perhaps, on those super cold days finding a sunny spot in the house (you know that picturesque place where the sun is shining bright through the window!) and simply sit together there reading and chatting.

There are foods that help give you Vitamin D:
Whole Milk
Swiss Cheese
Fortified Orange Juice
Fortified Grain Cereals

Many doctors recommend a Vitamin supplement, especially in the colder months. The average adult is in need of over 4000 units of Vitamin D per day to be healthy. This is something that came naturally when we spent most of our time outdoors and ate like our great grandparents did! I do not have information on supplements for you, but I encourage further research. I do know that Cod Liver Oil is supposed to be amazing for you and it also is a good source of the beneficial Vitamin D.

Go outside today. Bask in some afternoon sunshine. Play with the kids. Reduce processed and highly refined foods. Add something to boost Vitamin D to your meal plan this week! Be healthy Momma's!

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