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Health Hack #1 - Vitamin D

Welcome to the first edition of our weekly health hack!  Our company was founded by health enthusiasts and our goal with this weekly FYI is to broadcast a simple tip or nugget of info for you to keep on your radar, slip into your back pocket, or maybe even incorporate into your daily routine.  Simple, concise, and (hopefully) informative, and not relegated merely to food.  We’re super stoked to roll this out, and welcome any and all feedback.  Onward!

Daylight Savings is merely one week away.  Vitamin D, known also as the “Sunshine Vitamin”, will now become a bit less accessible (save maybe for you morning larks, who rise early with the birds).  Couple this with the pervasive gloom and chill that winter weather often brings, and less daylight + more cloud coverage + less desire to be outside = substantially less Vitamin D exposure.  And unless your diet is robust in some combination of fatty fish, organ meat, or mushrooms, chances are your cold weather Vitamin D levels could be low.  This is the sunshine vitamin after all.

So what does this mean?  

There is a slew of medical literature that suggests lower than ideal Vitamin D levels lead to an increased susceptibility to cold (the sickness).  The idea is that “Cold Season” as it’s often referred to correlates directly with a drop in our propensity to be spending time outside.  Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with elevated feelings of anxiety and depression, which we all know tend to spike in the winter.  It is very much an essential feel-good vitamin.

So what do I do?

The simplest and most cost effective solution is to spend more time outside.  As we’ll touch on more in future articles, this is especially pertinent in the morning, as morning sun exposure helps to regulate our circadian rhythm and leads to improved sleep quality among other things, signaling to our evolutionary clock that “Hey, it’s morning!”.  But for a shear uptick in Vitamin D exposure, any daylight time spent outdoors is a plus - even on a cloudy day.  Option #2: supplement.  Vitamin D is very inexpensive, compared to most other supplements.  Always buy D3.  As far as the IU count - 2,000 is a very safe bet. (For the safest dosage recommendation, consult your physician.) And a very important pro-tip: consume any Vitamin D supplement alongside some fatty food.  Maybe some avocado, nuts, etc.  Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, which means it requires fat in order to be absorbed by the body.

Til Next Week!