Craving Sunshine? Here's How to Get Your Vitamin D Fix, Organically
The basil plant on my windowsill is dying. Not because I’ve neglected it — I really haven’t — but because it hasn’t felt sunlight in over five days. As I sit and write, drizzly rain and heavy grey clouds cover NYC like thick curtain for the light that our land and bodies so desperately need. And unlike my basil plant, I’m not going to lie…I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it. And I’m not the only one; I’ve heard coos and cuddles of how thankful all my companions are for the season’s change. For the darker afternoons and the sprinkley sky. Though, will we regret saying all this a few weeks from now? Absolutely. And here’s why…
Vitamin D is love, and vitamin D is life. Take the basil for example: No matter how much water and how many kind words I give it, it’s going to deteriorate without the sun. It’s no big scientific secret that from the sun, we get our vitamin D. And though we are not a plant and can’t just operate via photosynthesis, what’s interesting to understand is how vitamin D manifests in the human body. How do we absorb the nutrient, and what are its effects? Why do we need it so very badly? Here’s some fun facts (read: necessities) of vitamin D for the human body:
~ It's known as the "bone vitamin" because of how crucial it is for skeletal strength
~ Every cell in the body has a vitamin D receptor
~ It regulates genes that control cell growth + development
~ It regulates immune function
~ It aids in metabolic control (aka a healthy metabolism)
~ It regulates body temperature
~ It stimulates growth of new brain cells
~ It wards off bacteria that can cause life-threatening diseases such as TB, small pos, rickets, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and clinical depression. John Harvey Kellogg's 1910 book Light Therapeutics even recommends vitamin D to treat baldness and chronic fatigue. (This is why many light therapies are used in luxury spas around the world).
~ Unfortunately, 65% of Americans currently don't have enough vitamin D to keep all of their tissues operating at peak capacity. And come past winters, I have definitely fallen short as one of them. When the sun is gone for too long, so is the pep in our step. What's more, is a chemical deficiency occuring within. When the sun is gone for too long, we become blue, irritated, angry. Our immune system breaks down, noses run, coughs collide. So what d owe do? We pop a pill; a handy dandy vitamin D pill, that is.
But this year, I urge you to explore some other vitamin D alternatives as well. Why? Because like anything else, we can’t just pop a pill to fully satisfy a need. When we are deficient, it’s because of a deeper rooted need that our bodies are crying out for. In this case, what we need is the source: the light.
Don’t get me wrong, your vitamin D pill is working wonders. Just make sure you don’t over-do it. Research has shown that consumption of too much vitamin D via supplementation (meaning, the pill) can actually cause arterial calcification! Therefore, we want to get our vitamin D from the most organic source possible. Even when the sun has gone away.
But how do we do that? How do we get back to the source?
Think of yourself as a solar panel of sorts. The organic electrical power of the sun makes you come alive, feel ecstatic and warm to the core. It is an electricity and vibration that we cannot get fro ma gel-capsuled pill. And in order to understand this, we have to look at the full spectrum of light. When we talk about vitamin D and sun exposure, we're often just looking at a small portion of this spectrum. We're talking about UV rays, UVA and UVB, but does anyone remember the rainbow? You know, ROYGBIV (and infrared)? I mention infrared, because that is what is meant by "the full spectrum"; it even contains the light that we technically cannot see. This is our vibration, this is our life, and this is our vitamin D. This is why we find rainbows to be so magical! Because the ARE. They are keeping us alive.
You’ve got skin, you’ve got organs, you’ve got cells, all of which have mitochondria, ribosomes, cytoplasm, and other various 9th grade bio class words I can’t remember. You’ve also got electricity, and vibration. There is more to you than even the most microscopic elements of your being. In fact, there is more to even the most microscopic elements of this universe. There will always be things that we cannot see. It’s those things that we have to consciously nourish and re-charge on a daily basis. If we want a more sustainable re-energization and mineralization on the deepest levels of our being, we have to go straight into the light.
This winter, get your source on by trying an at-home light therapy lamp, hit up your nearest infrared sauna, or swap out your old bedside lightbulb for a full spectrum one. Also try upping your high-vibe, high-vitamin D foods such as mushrooms, soy milk and tofu, almonds, oranges, and fatty fish.
By no means am I saying to put down the vitamin D bottle and move to a 365 sunny island to keep alive. Taking vitamin D can still be super beneficial and life-changing, just be sure that you’re either taking a vitamin K2 supplement alongside it, or eating some form of high calcium food / drink with it too (remember, vitamin D is great for those bones!) Taking vitamin K2 or a high calcium food alongside your supplement will ensure that the vitamin gets delivered into all the proper nooks and crannies of your body, especially deep inside those tissues.
Now who wants to have a vitamin D, full light spectrum, rave? I do… see ya there?