Vitamin D

Known as the sun shine vitamin, Vitamin D is well known.  Most people know that we need to expose ourselves to sunlight to get it but what does it do for us?

Vitamin D is a component in many functions in our body including but not limited to: making our bones stronger, supporting our immune system, and regulating blood sugar.  It’s important to note that Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium and magnesium; however, it’s more effective at increasing the absorption of calcium.  Calcium and magnesium compete with each other for absorption and because of that if you are supplementing with calcium and Vitamin D you may become deficient in magnesium.

If we take out fortified food from the equation, it’s difficult to get your daily intake of Vitamin D from food alone.  Some seafood, eggs, and a couple types of mushrooms are your best bet if you’re looking to increase your Vitamin D intake with food.  Making sure you get at least 15 minutes of unfiltered sun light throughout the day will help insure you’re body is producing the Vitamin D it needs.  However, the further away from the equator you live the less direct the sunlight is and the less Vitamin D you’ll make.  Also, the darker your skin the less effective your skin is at making Vitamin D.  Adjust your sunlight time accordingly to where you live, time of year, and skin pigmentation.

The recommended daily intake varies for age.  For children 0-1 year it’s 400 IU, for adults 1-70 it’s 600 IU, and for adults over 70 it’s 800 IU.  Many people will have to supplement to be able to attain that much.  Look for Vitamin D3 if you feel you need to supplement.  The Tolerable Upper Intake is 4,000 IU; however, the research I’ve done for a breastfeeding mama who doesn’t want to supplement her baby but provide enough through her breast milk is 6,400 IU a day.  Please do your own research and discuss it with your pediatrician and personal general practitioner before consuming that dose.

So get out in the sun and eat your mushrooms!

Sugar is Destroying Your Body

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I love my cup of coffee in the morning.  I also love my coffee with cream and sugar.  A lot.  I actually like my cream and sugar with a little coffee.  I’ve slowly added more coffee so I can put just a little cream and a little sugar and it still tastes good but it was a slow and gradual process and I never quite made it to being able to drink my coffee black.  That’s part of my 20% “soul food”.

Why am I so concerned with taking sugar out of my diet?  So very many reasons.

The most known issue is the high calorie content with little to no nutritional content.  It’s empty calories and if you’re working on being healthier and losing weight sugar is working against you.

There is also a link between sugar and depression.  This is huge because stress eating, especially high sugar content foods, is so much worse when suffering from depression.  It’s a vicious cycle that can have devastating effects.

It can create non-alcohol fatty liver disease.

Decreases insulin sensitivity.

Makes potentially harmful changes in the heart.

There is a link to poor memory and learning disabilities with high sugar consumption.

Increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes which could lead to decrease kidney function and then kidney disease.

Sugar consumption can also play a role in sexual dysfunction.

Sugar increases inflammation and can increase joint pain.

Honestly, the list goes on and on.  There isn’t a list of benefits.  The increased energy you get from sugar comes at a high cost and you can get your energy levels from much better sources.

Why do we crave sugar so intensely?  It’s hard wired into our brains.  Back in the day (a long long time ago) our ancestors needed the natural sugars from fruits to have enough energy to perform daily functions of surviving the wild and reproducing to propagate the human race.  Our bodies adapted to make us seek out sweet foods.  A lot has changed since then and we have to fight against our natural sugar cravings now.  Thankfully, there are processes to put into place that will help and make healthy living in today’s world easier.

I have a 1 hour online Sugar Detox workshop that is free to attend.  Check out my events section on my Facebook page.