Can vitamin D help my depression?

If you’ve ever felt depressed, you might be surprised to learn that you might need to spend time outdoors to find relief. In a study by the National Institutes of Health, vitamin D was found to reduce symptoms of depression among the women who participated. The study concluded that spending time outdoors may help relieve depression. However, it can be a challenge to get outside for those who live in areas that experience harsh winter weather.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, it is estimated that 1 billion people worldwide don’t get enough vitamin D. Deficiencies run higher in individuals who don’t get enough sunlight or at least a 15-minute walk outdoors every day.

While millions of Americans are vitamin D deficient, few understand just how important it is for health. Natural News declared vitamin D to be one of the most underrated nutrients in the world of nutrition.

Deficiency risks
Vitamin D has recently been found to be much more beneficial for health than previously thought and can play a big role in fighting off diseases. With a vitamin D deficiency, a person is more likely to develop heart disease, osteoporosis, some cancers and multiple sclerosis. A person is also more vulnerable to getting the seasonal flu when they are low on vitamin D.

What vitamin D does
It is important to get enough vitamin D for calcium absorption in the gut for strong bones and teeth. The health benefits of vitamin D have been recognized for a long time, but only recently have researchers learned how important the nutrient really is. The vitamin can also reduce cancer cell growth and help control infections. It is possible to take a vitamin D supplement to get the proper amount of the nutrient.

Vitamin D sources
Sun exposure is the best way to absorb vitamin D, though it is possible to get it through consuming food. Vitamin D can be found in the flesh of fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel, as well as fish liver oils. Fortunately, many foods are fortified with vitamin D. For example, mushrooms may be fortified when they are exposed to ultraviolet light. For most Americans, fortified foods such as milk and breakfast cereals provide most of the vitamin D in diets. However, these foods may not contain a full recommended amount of vitamin D.

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