Monday, January 11, 2010
With cold weather blanketing most of America, many people are remaining indoors and missing out on sunlight, exercise, and fresh air. Under these conditions you may be more vulnerable to catching illnesses. Fresh air and exercise help bring more oxygen to your cells. This nourishes your cells and helps prevent the spread of harmful microbes. Sunlight also helps support your immune system, as it triggers production of Vitamin D in your body. Deficiencies in Vitamin D are associated with weakened immune function and increased incidence of common infections such as colds and flus. If you are indoors and not getting sunlight exposure then it is important to get Vitamin D supplementation and to take time to exercise inside, breathing deeply and increasing your oxygen intake.
The form of Vitamin D known to enhance your immune system is Vitamin D3. Some researchers estimate that about 85% of the population is deficient in this vitamin. This situation is aggravated during the winter season when there is less daylight and many people remain indoors due to cold temperatures. Fish and fish oil contain Vitamin D3, as do egg yolks, liver, and cheese. Plant foods are not recognized as a significant source of vitamin D, so sometimes items such as orange juice and cereal may contain added vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for metabolism of the minerals calcium and phosphorus, which are needed to build and maintain bones. This winter be sure to keep healthy Vitamin D levels in your body so that your immune system stays strong and your bones stay healthy as well.