Vitamin D is very important for human survival. The same like vitamin A,E and K , also vitamin D is fat-soluble nutrient. The main source of vitamin D is sun.
Vitamin D is very important for our health and give us a lot of benefits:
It is very important for your immunity, cognition, bone health. Supplementing vitamin D might reduce the risks of cancer, diabetes, heart disease as well as multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin D is produced in the body from the cholesterol. But this process can go ahead only when the adequate amount of UV light is available, and this would be coming from the sun.
You can hear everywhere that most people are not having enough vitamin D in the body. The truth is that they don’t have an optimal level of vitamin D, but they are not deficient in this nutrient.
Vitamin D has many benefits and if optimal level is not present in the body, then supplementation is really recommended.
VITAMIN D AND DEPRESSION
Vitamin D insufficiency has been associated with depression. If you suffer from severe depression the supplementation might help. But if the level of vitamin D in your system is sufficient and you still suffer from depression, then supplementation might not help.
Saying that it doesn’t mean that low levels of vitamin D cause the depression. Most likely, when people are depressed, they don’t go outside as much, they are not exposed to the sun and therefore they produce less vitamin D. So that mean that depression might be a cause of lower levels of vitamin D.
Also being less outside means that most likely we exercise less. Lack of exercises affect our mood in a bad way.
Lower production of Vitamin D during the winter months, might be a possible cause of SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
There have been studies carried out about the correlation between the level of vitamin D and depression. Some studies found there is a correlation, and some have found, there isn’t.
HOW MUCH AND HOW TO TAKE VITAMIN D
The best way to find out the level of Vitamin D in your body is to run a blood test and being more specific you should undergo a 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood test. It does make sense to check your vitamin D level twice a year, in the middle of the summer and winter where we have the most and least sunlight.
Score less or equal to 20 ng/mL means that there is insufficient level of vitamin D in our body. It might affect 50% of the population worldwide.
The recommended daily intake of Vitamin D is set at 400 – 800 IU per day. This amount might be way too low for an adult especially in countries where the exposure to the sun is quite low.
In the USA and Canada, the upper tolerable intake is 4000 IU per day. But the research suggests that the real Upper Tolerable Intake is 10000 IU per day.
The lowest effective dose range to meet the needs of most of the population would be
1000-2000 IU per day.
We have got two forms of vitamin D when it comes to supplementation.
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). D2 is not as bioavailable as D3 and that is why we should always choose D3 over D2.
It should be taken daily, with meals or any source of fat such as olive oil, fish oil.
- Nearly 50% of the world population have low levels of vitamin D which is less or equal to
- Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to depression.
- Sufficient level of Vitamin D is very important and beneficial for immune system, bone health, cognition, mood. It might reduce the risks of cancer, diabetes, heart disease as well as multiple sclerosis.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) might be a cause of decreased vitamin D production during the winter months
- If your vitamin D levels are OK, supplementation is not going to improve your mood, but if the level is insufficient or low, there is a big chance that supplementation will help with depression
- If you want to check the level of Vitamin D, you can do it through a 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood test
The problem nowadays that we are facing when it comes to nutrition and eating is our relationship with food.
How many times you were starting the diet and after a few days you had something you “shouldn’t”. You were disappointed with yourself, felt guilty and decided to start diet again, in the best case scenario… tomorrow, but most of the time from the next Monday. I have been there in the past so many times.
And now I know that this approach to food is just WRONG. We should not feel guilty after consuming any type of food. We also should not categorize food as BAD and GOOD. Food is just a food. Of course that will be food which is healthier and better for our body, our health and one that is not as healthy. Some food has got more and some less vitamins. Some food is more caloric dense and some less. Some food will be more beneficial for our health and some less. That is the fact.
The worst thing we can do to ourselves is to feel guilty because we have eaten something which in our opinion is “bad”.
We have to change our thinking about the food and in the same time, change our relationship with food.
Rather than saying ..
“I have eaten this product A, and I feel like shit because it was a bad food, all is ruined now and I need to start my diet again from tomorrow or even next week ” .. , instead you should be saying:
“I have eaten this product A, which is not the best choice for me now, and for what I want to achieve with my health or body composition. It is still OK but I have to have it less. I carry on with my nutrition plan and probably eat less for dinner to still stay within my caloric allowance.”
There will be food which is healthier and food less healthy for us. We should answer the question .. What is my goal now ?
Is it a body composition? Improve health ? Gain weight ? Loose weight ?
And after knowing your goal, you should aim for food which will get you closer to achieve it.
Stop blaming yourself because you had slice or two of pizza or ice creams. This is still food but probably not the best option for you at the moment.
Most of the time the relationship with food is getting worse with people who want to loose weight. That is because you have to stay on caloric deficit and eat less than you would normally eat. You will miss the food that you like and food that makes you happy. Because you are being told that you MUST NOT EAT the food you enjoy. All of the sudden you binge on food you like to satisfy the psychological aspect and you feel guilty, hate yourself and food you have just eaten.
When dieting you can still have food you like, but others telling you to not to have or you won’t loose weight. Have it in moderation and maybe only once per week. Sticking to your plan in 85% will still give you a great results and the chances that you follow your diet for longer are higher. The rest of 15% should be allowed for the food you enjoy.
That is why go for a food which is a better choice for you right now. Don’t look at the food as Bad and Good. If you are on a caloric deficit, you eat less (that is obvious). Because you eat less you will be getting less vitamins. You will be getting less good nutrients that is required for your body for the optimal health. That is why in the time when you are on caloric deficit you should be having nutritious food which is also less caloric dense because you still need to be on caloric deficit to loose weight. So when you have for example pizza .. it is not bad food, but not the best choice at the moment. It contains more calories, saturated fat sources and not a lot of vitamins. And having this less nutritionally blessed food and packed with calories, you are leaving yourself with fewer calories left for the rest of the day. And with not a lot of calories left for the rest of the day you will be getting less food and less good nutrition in the same time. But the thing is .. it is not the end of the world. You DID NOT do a bad thing, the food you have eaten is NOT BAD, you only made a wrong choice. Choices that will delay the process of achieving your health / body composition / fat loss goals. What you have to do now is to stick to the plan and be more aware about the next meal and carry on.
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON ..
The food which is not the best healthy option still has its place in our diet and our life. If you want to loose weight you need to avoid it at the moment as it contains too many calories and it is not the best choice if you are on caloric deficit. When you will be in a better position and can afford to have more calories in your diet .. you can definitely have this food. Otherwise the process of loosing weight will be delayed.
Sample Diet Plan
Omelette with porridge oats and banana
Handful of nuts (if you are not allergic to it)
Sweet potatoes with the meat of your choice and vegetables
Protein shake with banana or any other fruit
Salad with tuna, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and olive oil. Slice of the bread on the side
I will always recommend food rich in minerals and vitamins. Food which contains good amount of fibres, protein, good sources of fat and less sugar. This food comes first because it is highly beneficial for our health and it should take 80-85% of our diet.
The rest 15% should be allowed for food that we really enjoy and the food which contains fat which is not the healthiest one (saturated), less fibres, more sugar. Something we enjoy but should not have too much of it.
Having both types of food (85% healthy and 15% not so healthy) in our diet will make sure that we can stay healthier for longer and won’t be reaching or binging on the food which is not nutritionally dense.
Healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. While weight loss is not a magic bullet for health, and not everyone needs to pursue weight loss, it might be something you want to work toward to feel your healthiest.
Coupled with regular movement, activities and exercises, your diet can affect your health outcomes. (Just make sure to talk with a healthcare professional before making drastic changes!)
If losing weight is your goal, these 15 foods may help support a healthy weight loss journey, according to science.
15 FOODS RICH IN VITAMINS, MINERALS AND ARE INCREDIBLY FILLING
1. Boiled potatoes
7. Greek yogurt
9. Cottage cheese
14. Olive Oil
THE FINAL THOUGHT
There is no “bad” and “good” food. There is a better choice of food according to your fitness / health goal. If one day you have a food which is not right for your current goal, carry on and your next meal should be a better choice.