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Vitamin D: Why We Need It & How We Can Get It

Fruits, vegetables, milk. There are a lot of things our parents have pushed us to eat over the years, and thanks to their constant reminders, we know it is important to get vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin C and calcium in order to stay healthy. But there is a new vitamin on the health scene and it turns out that many teenage girls are not getting enough.


Vitamin D, most commonly received through sunshine, has been found to build strong bones and teeth, reduce cancer risks and help build a strong immune system to keep you from getting sick. It also modifies symptoms of PMS. That’s right ladies, having the right levels of vitamin D in your system can stave off those uncontrolled feelings of sadness and frustration.


Experts believe that our bodies need fifteen minutes of direct sunlight each day in order to make enough vitamin D. But with classes, meetings and friends, it is often hard to think about taking in some sun while running to our next destination. As winter begins, wind, rain and snow give us even more of an incentive to curl up in our rooms with a blanket and stay indoors. Add in the fact that the days are getting shorter, and reaching those fifteen minutes suddenly gets a lot more difficult.


Many people today have vitamin D deficiencies due to not receiving enough sunlight in their daily lives. This can lead to bone and muscle weakness, muscle pain and a tendency to get sick more often due to a fragile immune system. Deficiency is especially dangerous for girls, for vitamin D also helps us to absorb calcium to build stronger bones.


As women age, they lose the ability to make additional vitamin D. Therefore, it is important that women store as much as they can at an early age in order to maintain strong bones and prevent the development of osteoporosis, otherwise known as the brittle bone disease.


Vitamin D is a strong factor in maintaining good health. But before you go running to the tanning bed, there are a few things you can do to get enough at school.


1. Monitor your diet.


Vitamin D is found in foods such as fish, eggs and sources of meat. Try to look for these options in your dining halls, and make sure to include them in each of your meals.


2. Drink your milk.


Two cups of milk contain the total amount of vitamin D you need for one day.


3. Go to your local pharmacy.


Taking a vitamin D supplement is an easy way to get the vitamin in your system. Doctors recommend looking for ones containing vitamin D3, for this is the same type that our bodies make from sunlight.


By: Nicole Battafarano | Image: Source

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