The "Happy" Vitamin

Growing up, I have always associated Vitamin D with being the “happy” vitamin. This is a pretty popular description for the fat-soluble vitamin, however we oftentimes skim past the exact reasons why. Vitamin D is an integral nutrient to maintaining a healthy and happy body both internally and externally. There are limitless reasons to get the recommended amount of vitamin D each day and three different ways of doing so. We can obtain vitamin D from the sun, supplements, and foods we eat.

Feeling the winter blues yet? This is primarily due to the lack of ultraviolet B rays (also known as sunlight) your body is absorbing. Vitamin D is an exceptional vitamin due to its ability to manufacture itself in your body after being exposed to sunlight. That’s right – it’s no secret we are exponentially happier humans during the warmer months of the year. But why is that? Vitamin D plays a part in neuronal growth which in turn improves our moods. In fact, research shows that vitamin D deficiencies and imbalances can play a role in depression and other diseases of the brain. Not only that, but vitamin D also helps build strong bones, strengthens teeth, keeps your hair healthy, and can even aid in weight loss.

If you choose to go the whole food route, you can consume the proper amount of vitamin D from foods such as: fatty fish, dairy products that are fortified with vitamin D, cheese, mushrooms, fortified cereals, and egg yolks. Just don’t forget to supplement during the cold and dark winter months when sunshine is scarce! Your body and mood will thank you.

What are your favorite ways to combat a dreary mood during the winter?