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Soak Up the Sun – Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Beach Sunset

It’s Memorial Day weekend and I can’t think of a better time to talk about Vitamin D-3 – since we’re all likely to get a good dose of it in the next couple of days! I don’t know about you, but I have Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up the Sun” stuck on a loop in my head. It’s good advice. Here’s why we should all take it.

D-Day: Vitamin D vs. D-3

Not all Vitamin Ds are created equal, so if you have milk or juices that say “Vitamin D fortified,” be sure it says which one. The two Vitamin Ds that are important for people are D2 (found in fish, mushrooms, eggs, fortified milk) and D3 (produced by your body when you’re exposed to sunlight). Of the two, Americans are more at risk for Vitamin D3 deficiencies, which can lead to weakened bones, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in older adults, and cancer. There has even been research that vitamin D can help in preventing and treating diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

Vitamin D-3 Do’s – or, 5 Great Reasons to Sunbathe

  1. Maintains Calcium Balance in your body – great for bone density!
  2. Helps your cells function and fights cancer (yes, sunlight helps fight cancer)
  3. Gives your immune system a boost (how many colds do you catch in Summer?)
  4. Regulates your blood pressure – there have been studies suggesting D helps hypertension
  5. You can’t overdose from vitamin D 3 gained through sun exposure! But you can if you rely on supplements.

Your own body is the best producer of Vitamin D3 when it’s exposed to UV rays (yes, THOSE rays; the ones your sunscreen blocks!) for as little as 10 minutes a day. No, you shouldn’t go out and get sunburned, but maybe wait until after your first Memorial Day margarita to put on the sunblock.

Now, let’s all go soak up the sun.