Just when you thought you had all of your vitamins and minerals covered, up pops another one: vitamin D3. It can seem like the underdog of vitamins, but you definitely want to know what the top vitamin D3 benefits are. We’re talking killer perks that span across just about your entire body (keep reading for the ‘deets!) Basically, they’re pretty incredible for you in so many ways that you can’t afford to not be taking advantage of the benefits of vitamin D.
WHAT IS VITAMIN D3?
The fancy, scientific, nearly impossible-to-pronounce name for vitamin D3 is cholecalciferol (try saying that one three times fast!) It’s fat soluble, which means that it gets stored in liver and fat cells. Then it gets released when your body is in need of it. It’s pretty advanced stuff. But then again, our bodies are amazing machines, especially when they’re properly fueled with lots of nutrients.
THIS IS WHY YOU WANT VITAMIN D3
The list of benefits can seem endless, but these are the top 6 vitamin D benefits you’ve got to know about.
FOOD FOR THE BRAIN
You may not become the next Einstein, but one of the benefits of vitamin D is nourishment for your noggin. There’s research and studies out there demonstrating a correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and a vitamin D deficiency. One study showed pretty cool results in elderly women particularly. Those with the highest vitamin D intake had lower Alzheimer’s disease incidents.
YOU CAN SAY PEACE OUT TO EXTRA POUNDAGE
Those too tight pants may not be too tight for much longer if you’re getting enough vitamin D. One university study showed that people with a vitamin D deficiency were more likely to store an increased amount of fat than those who didn’t experience a shortage. There is also evidence that overweight and obese people can lose weight if their intake of this mighty little vitamin is high enough.
SUPERWOMAN STRONG BONES
Did you know that calcium and vitamin D3 go hand-in-hand? Calcium is for keeping bones strong, but vitamin D3 can get that calcium to the places it is needed most very efficiently. When vitamin D isn’t present to do its thing, your bones won’t get important calcium deposits and may end up brittle and susceptible to fractures. And splints are definitely not the must-have accessory of the season.
You won’t end with tresses long enough to throw down a tower like Rapunzel, but if your hair is shorter than you’d like, vitamin D can help. The benefits of vitamin D include hair growth, so if you’re getting enough, you may just find your mane growing faster than expected. That’s not the end of it either. Because vitamin D can help new hair follicles grow, you can benefit from thicker locks.
TURNS A FROWN UPSIDE DOWN
Vitamin D3 benefits include an improved mood. The vitamin releases an increased amount of a nifty little neurotransmitter called serotonin, which regulates how we feel. That should curb some tears, ensure your makeup stays in tact, and most importantly, keep you feeling happy.
SLEEP LIKE A BABY
A good night’s rest is invaluable, but it can also get expensive once you start adding up the cost of sleep aids like fancy pillows, uber-luxe bedding, essential oils, and sleep masks. There are studies that suggest a connection between improved sleep quality and vitamin D supplementation, so it may not be an extra pit stop to your favorite coffee joint that you need after all.
HOW TO GET YOUR HANDS ON VITAMIN D
There’s a little catch to enjoying all of these incredible vitamin D3 benefits. And that’s actually getting access to the vitamin itself. Even though our bodies can produce it, we need to be exposed to sunlight (without sunscreen!) in order for that to happen. And that can seem like one big mean joke, because everyone knows that spending lots of time in the sun is bad
You really can’t fall back on food this time either. Unlike other vitamins and minerals, very few foods naturally contain vitamin D3, and the ones that do are things like sardines. Not exactly something most people can’t wait to get their hands on. So to reap all of the benefits of vitamin D, your best bet is supplementation. That is, unless hanging out in the sun without sunscreen or eating things like cod liver oil daily is more your jam.