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Vitamin D May Reduce Your Heart Attack Risk—Are You Getting Enough?


Vitamin D comes with an array of health benefits, and now a promising new study published in The BMJ found that taking vitamin D supplements may also reduce your risk of major cardiovascular events like heart attack or stroke. The difference was small, but these findings could lead to more research into the link between vitamin D and cardiovascular disease—which is good news.

Add this to the list of reasons to appreciate the value of vitamin D!

Here are vitamin D’s biggest benefits:

Keeps your bones healthy

Reduces the risk of autoimmune diseases

May lower your risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancer

Promotes weight loss when taken with calcium

Helps boost your mood

Fights inflammation

Up to 90% of adults in the U.S. are vitamin D deficient. Although sunlight is a great source, very few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D, leaving many of us with vitamin D deficiency.

Aside from lacking vitamin D in your diet, vitamin D deficiency can also occur if your body has trouble absorbing it, or if you have a metabolic need for higher amounts.

So, are you getting enough vitamin D?

Let’s take a look at the most common signs and risk factors of vitamin D deficiency and how to get more into your diet.

1. Persistent Bone or Back Aches

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One of the key roles of vitamin D is to improve bone health by helping your body absorption of calcium. When you lack sufficient levels of vitamin D, you’re more prone to achiness in your bones, back, and muscles. You may be especially achy when you wake up in the morning.

2. You’re Feeling Blue

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While more research is needed, there are studies that indicate Vitamin D deficiency is linked to depression, especially in older adults

Vitamin D also seems to improve serotonin levels, the neurotransmitters that boost your mood. Research has shown that healthy adults given vitamin D supplements during the cooler months reported greater positive mood than those given a placebo.

3. You’re 50 or Older

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Although being over 50 does not automatically cause vitamin D deficiency, it does increase your risk.

Unfortunately, research shows that your skin does not make as much vitamin D as you age. Additionally, your kidneys start to become less productive when it comes to converting vitamin D into the form the body puts to good use.

Many adults over 50 also tend to spend less time outdoors, resulting in less sun exposure compared to younger adults.

4. You Get Sick All the Time

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Vitamin D supports immune health, which helps you fend off viruses and illnesses. If you’re constantly coming down with a cold or the flu, a lack of vitamin D may be the culprit.

Moreover, research has shown a link between vitamin D deficiency and respiratory tract infections such as colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

5. Tingling in Your Hands and Feet

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If vitamin D levels are too low, the calcium levels in your blood could also be low. This can lead to tingly feelings of “pins and needles” (known as paresthesia) in your feet, arms, hands, and legs. The feeling is similar to when your foot “falls asleep,” for example.

6. Head Sweating

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One of the classic signs of vitamin D deficiency is a sweaty head. Oddly enough, doctors used to ask new mothers about head sweating in their newborns for this very reason.

If you find yourself glistening with sweat even when sedentary, you may need more vitamin D in your diet.

How to Get More Vitamin D

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Here are the best ways to increase your vitamin D intake:

Get more sunlight: Vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin” for a reason!

Eat foods rich in vitamin D: The best sources of vitamin D include fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines), egg yolks, milk, and other foods that have been fortified with vitamin D, such as breakfast cereals and orange juice.

Take vitamin D supplements: When taking supplements, keep in mind that the recommended vitamin D intake for adults ages 19-50+ is 15mcg (600 IU), and 20mg (800 IU) for those over 70.

That said, if you think you’re struggling with vitamin D deficiency, it’s best to speak with your doctor to determine the best course of action.

14 Health Benefits of Cucumbers (And a Few Refreshing Recipes)

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From healthy skin to improved memory, check out the top 14 health benefits of cucumbers! And if you’re lucky enough to have a load from your garden or farmers market on hand, you’ll definitely want to check out some of our favorite cucumber recipes, too.

14 Health Benefits of Cucumbers (And a Few Refreshing Recipes)

9 Tips For Joint Health | Keep Your Joints Healthy As You Age

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Keeping your joints healthy is key to staying mobile and experiencing less pain as you age.  Although you may not be able to prevent all joint injuries or arthritis, there are many things you can start doing today to improve your joint health!

9 Tips For Joint Health | Keep Your Joints Healthy As You Age

Balance These 4 Hormones for Weight Loss

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Your hormones impact so many things—from your mood and energy levels to your weight.

When you are deficient or dominant in any one hormone, it’s easier to gain weight. This is particularly true for women who are experiencing hormonal imbalances caused by the natural aging process.

If you’re someone struggling with weight loss, you might benefit from understanding your hormone levels and trying these natural ways to balance your hormones.

Balance These 4 Hormones for Weight Loss

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