Vitamin D has countless health benefits, including the ability to help prevent heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. It can help improve memory, fight the common cold and even help you lose weight.
Here are just some of the reasons why you should make sure you are getting enough vitamin D in your diet.
1. Feel fuller longer
When your vitamin D levels are where they should be, your body produces higher amounts of leptin, which is a hormone that tells our bodies when we are full. When your vitamin D is low, your leptin is low, and you will continue eating longer than you need to. A recent study in Australia showed that a breakfast high in vitamin D and calcium helped control the appetites of participants for the entire next day.
2. Burn more belly fat
When your vitamin D levels are where they should be, you will lose weight all over, and especially in the belly area. Researchers think this might have something to do with the production of cortisol, and by reducing the production of this hormone, you will store less fat in the belly area.
3. Store less fat
When your vitamin D levels are where they should be, the fat cells in your body don’t work as hard to make and store excess fat. Those with low vitamin D levels will produce hormones that cause increased fat production, and less fat burning. A recent study showed that elevated hormone levels caused by a lack of vitamin D can make it 40% more likely for a man to become overweight.
4. Help your heart
When your levels of vitamin D are where they should be, you will not only lose weight, but you will have better triglyceride levels, which can be markers for heart attack risk.
Although getting enough vitamin D is important, keep in mind that there are different ways to get vitamin D. Exposure to sunlight causes natural production of vitamin D in your body, which is different from eating foods containing vitamin D or taking supplements. Unfortunately, there are risks associated with sun exposure related to skin cancer. Even those who enjoy the sunny climate in Singapore may not get enough sun exposure to build up vitamin D levels while keeping the amount of sun exposure at a safe amount.
Instead of increased exposure to sunlight, and an increased risk of cancer, opt for safer vitamin D supplements to make sure you are getting enough. Most doctors recommend that you get 1,000-2,000 IU daily, but consult your doctor to see what’s best for you. Those who are overweight may need more than the regular dose.