I want to be tan.
I’m tired of being pale.
Well, what I really want is to be warm.
I’m almost tired of the cold.
I’m definitely tired of gray.
I’m ready for green.
Living in Massachusetts, I realize that it’s a bit early to have these feelings (it won’t turn green around here until May), but I can’t help it: I’m cold.
I was seriously considering going tanning the other day. Just to feel warm for a few minutes…and get some vitamin D.
What? Diane and Liz told me it wasn’t the worst idea I’ve ever had…The UV-B rays from tanning beds are the same rays that increase your body’s production of vitamin D.
But after doing some further research, I’ve decided against it–to quote the Holistic Squid, “nature did not intend for humans to sit in an electrically charged box.”
I’ll just stick with my fermented cod liver oil, and mummify myself in a fleecy blanket, thank you.
Part of my desire to be tan is a physical warmth thing– I like being warm. One of my favorite feelings is the sun on my skin.
I’m also thinking that part of my desire to be tan has to do with my body craving some vitamin D.
Studies show that unless you’re living on the equator and working outside all the time, you probably will never get adequate sun exposure to make that your primary source of vitamin D. Especially if you’re like me and you live in New England– the only time I could probably get enough sun is at high noon on the summer solstice.
Thus, you must get most of your vitamin D from food.
For food sources to provide us with D the source must be sunlight exposed. With exposure to UV-B sunlight, vitamin D is produced from fat in the fur, feathers, and skin of animals, birds and reptiles. Carnivores get additional D from the tissues and organs of their prey. (Source)
Any old vitamin D supplement isn’t gonna cut it. The best food sources of vitamin D are happy, pastured animals or wild fish feeding on phytoplankton– even then it’s the animals’ skin and fat and not their meat that has the D.
Supplementing with nutrient dense whole foods always, always, always trumps supplementing with a man-made vitamin.
If you’re worried about getting enough vitamin D during the winter months (or year round as the case may be), check out this article by The Holistic Squid for some great ideas of how (and how not) to supplement your vitamin D with food.
I’m planning to eat some more FLCO, and up my fish intake this winter…maybe even try some sardines…
How do you get enough vitamin D in the wintertime?