Vitamin D and Diet
Optimal Vitamin D levels are extremely important for good health. Vitamin D plays an important role in a healthy immune system for fighting infection, inflammation; for muscle recovery, strength; calcium absorption and diabetes prevention.
In my opinion and contrary to popular believe it is best to avoid regular supplementation with Vitamin D. Why? Any time we take isolated nutrients we are risking throwing the entire homeostasis of our bodies off. For instance supplementing with vitamin D can lead to a higher risk of kidney stones
“Calcium and vitamin D supplements are associated with high calcium levels in the blood and urine, which could increase the risk of kidney stones, a new study finds.”Study Here
Now in the era of supplement glorifying and scientists and doctors playing a guessing game with our health, testing new and not yet proven in time strategies I play it safe and try to eat a varied healthy diet.
I just got my Blood Tests done and I remembered to request Vitamin D as well and actually even to my surprise my lab tests fell in the safe optimum level range. WOOHOO
Blood levels of 40 ng/ml – 50 ng/ml or 100 nmol/L – 125nmol/L is considered a safe optimum level.
So that’s great news for all you healthy eaters, vegans, raw foodies and aspiring clean healthy eating converts. 😀
My results were smacked right in the middle (of the optimal range) of the reference values of 50 – 120 with my numbers clocking in at (european values)
I haven’t used Vitamin D supplements at all and I have not used Vitamin D fortified vegan milks for 2 months prior to the test. When I am in the states I do use coconut almond milk with some vitamin D added to it. Generally I use around 2-6 oz of the light unsweetened almond coconut milk a day or every other day in my teas and chocolate banana frozen deserts. I would generally skip the coconut milk but as you might now I love coconut flavor, coconut milks, coconut foods, coconut perfumes, shampoos, coconuts themselves etc so I have to make a compromise there. In the past I have made any nut milk under the sun with my blender. For well over 10 years I didn’t buy any commercial nut milks.
This test was done at the end of this summer and even though I did not do any sun bathing I did walk everywhere with shorts and bathing suit tops so I am sure that helped a lot.
Now when I am home I try to sit outside in the backyard at least once a day exposing some skin (not necessarily the 90% of skin exposure that some experts advise you to do) I do try to take my sunglasses off if the sun is not blazing which is rare in California. We do absorb some of the vitamin D through the eyes.
I also had some wild mushrooms prior to the test.
wild mushrooms and leafy greens for optimal vitamin D levels
If you live in a northern country you may want to check your vitamin D levels twice a year to make sure that your diet and lifestyle are working.
As far as sun exposure and cancer risk goes I do not advocate overdoing it but I am also convinced that with proper diet high in antioxidants our skin can benefit from the morning and afternoon light outside. Not just for optional vitamin D levels but also for optimal mental health. As most of you know countries and US states with the most cloudy days in the year also have the highest incidence of depression and suicide. The sun can regulate our hormones and boost our mood.
There are multiple studies that link skin cancer to the diet rather than sun exposure.
Nowadays humans spend less than ever time in the Sun yet the incidence of melanoma has gone up 1,800% since the 1930s. WOW Why did we ever assume its the sun thats the problem rather than our diet and lifestyle.
Some foods increase the chances of multiple cancers while other foods have protective benefits.
For example diets heavy in meat have been shown to increase the risk of multiple cancers including skin cancers.
The strongest correlation with animal products was seen in cancers of the female breast, corpus uteri, kidney, ovaries, pancreas, prostate, testicles, and thyroid, and in multiple myeloma.
The data also show that there is a 15- to 30-year lag between diet and cancer incidence. Eating animal products is as important as smoking for increasing the incidence of all cancer types (apart from lung cancer), Dr. Grant noted. source
For example a diet high in meat and fat was shown to increase the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. While a diet rich in fruits and veggies showed a whooping 54% decrease in SSC tumor risk. source
Photoprotection has been previously demonstrated in animal studies (I hate those) by multiple antioxidant supplements, including green tea catechins, proanthocyanadins, resveratrol, and silymarin. In addition to their antioxidant effects, these substances can also absorb UV radiation (when applied topically), enable DNA damage repair, and reduce inflammation.
Eeating tomatoes have been shown in studies to have skin protective properties. A study showed Tomato paste containing lycopene provides protection against acute and potentially longer-term aspects of photo damage. source
“Studies that look at large groups of people (observational studies) in many countries have shown that the risk for some types of cancer is lower in people who have higher levels of lycopene in their blood. Studies suggest that diets rich in tomatoes may account for this reduction in risk. Evidence is strongest for lycopene’s protective effect against cancer of the lung, stomach, and prostate. It may also help to protect against cancer of the cervix, breast, mouth, pancreas, esophagus, and colon and rectum.” cancer.org
Diet plays an important role in our health and how we look. For example my own skin health and complexion dramatically changed once I changed my diet. The exclusion of diary and eggs from my diet eliminated acne and break outs while the inclusion of colorful vegetables and fruits, especially the orange pumpkins, carrots and persimmons, the dark leafy vegetables and the bright colored seasonal fruits such as watermelons, pomegranates, dates, bananas and plums all gave me a much more tanned complexion. I grew up having an extremely pale skin as a teenager. I remember not wearing skirts in high school because my legs were so “embarrassingly” white 🙂
As soon as I changed my diet I noticed a dramatic change in skin color that just keeps getting better. Now I don’t have to stay in the sun to have a tan. I just have a bit more sun kissed color from inside out. I have also learned to love my legs regardless of their looks as I am more appreciative of all they have done for me and all the places they have taken me literally and figuratively.
FREE RADICAL PROTECTION WITH ANTI OXIDANT RICH FRUITS AND VEGGIES
All this veggies help our skin tone appear healthier, they help us detox and reveal a cleaner complexion with less break outs but at the same time they also have a protective effect from the sunlight’s free radicals.
So if you must protect your face sun block alone is not the solution. We have to address our skin health from a holistic full body health perspective and if you are exposed to strong sunlight daily try to chose a natural sun block for your face.
SUN KISSES <3