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How Much Vitamin D Is Needed Daily?

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Need better sleep? Want strong bones? 

How about a boost in testosterone? Or, an increase in lung function? 

Maybe your immune system needs some support. 

Vitamin D can be an answer to all of these needs and more! 

But, while we typically get needed vitamins and minerals from the foods we eat, vitamin D can be a little atypical here. 

Why? Because, naturally speaking, this vitamin can’t be gained in adequate amounts from our diet. Instead, our bodies make this beneficial vitamin when we spend enough time in the sun. 

Many supplements have become available as well to provide more ways to ensure our bodies have optimal amounts of vitamin D. 

Here we’ll take a look at what vitamin D is, why we need it, how much we need each day, and which is best, sunshine, supplementation, or both. 

What Is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it can be absorbed in the lymph system and transported in the blood. 

Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in fatty tissues and your liver, which means that they can also build up and become toxic making it important to know just how much your body needs when it comes to these types of vitamins. 

With vitamin D, rather than getting this vitamin from the foods you eat, your body makes it on its own after exposure to the sun, its main natural source. 

And, why should you care? 

Well, just take a look at the ways vitamin D can facilitate health within your body:

Vitamin D…

  • Improves function in your nerves and muscles
  • Regulates sex hormones 
  • Regulates blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Helps to keep insulin secretion at normal levels
  • Keeps the immune system from overreacting (which causes inflammation)
  • Prevents mood disorders
  • Helps bones absorb calcium
  • Impacts tumor growth, reducing the risk for certain cancers
  • Facilitates brain function

Adversely, being deficient in vitamin D is commonly associated with numerous health concerns like:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • High blood pressure 
  • Heart disease
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Infectious diseases

Being in the “year of corona,” it is also important to note that recent findings have shown 80% of Covid-19 patients were deficient in vitamin D, revealing just how crucial this vitamin is to your immune system. 

So, how can you be sure you’re getting appropriate amounts of vitamin D, and where can you get it? 

Sunlight 

We mentioned earlier that vitamin D is unlike many other vitamins due to the fact that we can only get it naturally from sunlight. 

The sunlight doesn’t contain the needed vitamin D, but our bodies use sunlight to make the amounts we need to keep our bodies healthy.

As the sun’s UV-B rays “hit” our skin, a substance (7-dehydrocholesterol) within the skin then transforms into vitamin D. 

To get this vitamin from the sun, obviously, you need to be outdoors in the sunlight (without sunscreen).

While out in the sunlight, your skin tone actually has a lot to do with how much vitamin D your body can absorb, which in turn dictates how much time you need to spend in the sunlight to receive optimal levels. 

If you have fair skin, your body is able to make vitamin D from the sun more easily. Therefore, a recommended 10-20 minutes spent in the sunlight (between 11am – 3pm) is considered to be an ample amount of time to help your body produce needed levels of the vitamin (again, for those with fair skin).

For those with a darker skin tone, more spent in the sun is needed (40-60 minutes total) for your body to fully benefit. 

It is important to note that when looking to optimize vitamin D levels through sun exposure, you aren’t seeking to burn or tan in the sun. 

It is said that you can get enough vitamin D in roughly half the time it takes for your body to burn (or tan) in the sun.

However, some problems can arise when it comes to sun exposure alone as a source of vitamin D. 

  • Those who are more at risk for skin cancers are generally advised to fully cover up when out in the sun, or to use sunscreen, both of which inhibit vitamin D production from the sunlight as skin exposure is crucial. 
  • Depending on where you live, exposing your skin to sunlight proves difficult due to the amounts of sunlight available and adverse weather conditions during certain times of year. 
  • For many, even in climates that allow for this throughout most of the year, opportunities for sun exposure are limited due to indoor job restraints. (Wouldn’t it all be nice if we could leave our desks or factory positions, etc. for ample vitamin D therapy each day?) 
  • Geographical location can determine the effectiveness of sun exposure as well.

And, it is precisely due to limitations of this nature that many seek out supplementation to achieve health-promoting levels of vitamin D. 

Supplementation

Before we get to the actual supplements, there are a few foods that naturally contain forms of vitamin D, though in limited amounts.

  • Vitamin D2 is a form of vitamin D that is found in certain mushrooms.
  • Vitamin D3 is a form of vitamin D found in egg yolks, fish liver oil, and some oily fish like mackerel and salmon.

Both of these types of vitamin D can be used by your body, though sources of vitamin D3 are considered the ones that boost vitamin D production most within the body. 

Most people seeking to ensure they are providing their bodies with optimal amounts of vitamin D do so through supplementation. 

Similar to food sources, vitamin D supplements are generally found in two forms: D2 and D3. 

Of the two, vitamin D3 is preferred as it is proven most effective at raising vitamin D levels in the blood, mirroring that of sunlight exposure. 

Also, D2 supplements are found to be more likely to degrade during storage.

So, how much should you take? 

Most recommendations center around 600-800 IUs per day for adults. 

Though, if you are not getting any vitamin D from sunlight, some studies indicate that you may need higher than normal amounts from supplementation for your body to make appropriate levels. 


So, the maximum amount, or “safe upper limit” for daily vitamin D3 supplementation is 4000 IUs. 

Taking vitamin D supplements with a meal promotes absorption, and those absorption levels have even been found to increase when the meal is high in fat content. 

Sunlight Or Supplementation

So, is there a better option: sun or supplements? 

Honestly, the jury seems to be out when it boils down to the “this or that” selection here. 

Research wise, the same health benefits are noted as long as the person gets the recommended amount from either time safely spent in the sun or taking the proper amount through supplementation daily. 

However, with the growing number of dermatologists recommending the use of sunscreen during any exposure to the sun (you know, not just during kite flying, hiking, and beach days), many are leaning towards supplementation for being “the way to go” when it comes to maintaining proper vitamin D levels and reaping all the benefits this vitamin has to offer.

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HEALTH

Exploring the Role of the Health Belief Model in Preventative Health Behaviors

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Preventative health behaviors are essential for maintaining overall well-being and preventing the onset of various illnesses and diseases. One model that has been widely used to explain and promote these behaviors is the Health Belief Model (HBM). The HBM is a psychological model that was originally developed in the 1950s by social psychologists Hochbaum, Rosenstock, and Kegels. It aims to explain and predict health behaviors by taking into account individual beliefs and perceptions.

The HBM is based on the premise that individuals are more likely to take action to prevent or control a health issue if they believe that they are susceptible to the issue, that it is severe, that taking action will be beneficial, and that they are capable of taking the necessary steps. These four key elements are known as perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers, respectively.

Perceived susceptibility refers to an individual’s belief about their personal risk of developing a particular health issue. For example, someone who believes that they are at high risk of developing heart disease may be more likely to engage in preventative behaviors such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.

Perceived severity is the individual’s belief about the seriousness of the health issue. If someone believes that the consequences of not taking action to prevent a particular health issue are severe, they may be more motivated to engage in preventative behaviors.

Perceived benefits refer to the individual’s belief that taking action to prevent or control the health issue will be effective in reducing the risk. If someone believes that exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet will help to lower their risk of developing heart disease, they may be more likely to engage in these behaviors.

Perceived barriers are the obstacles that may prevent an individual from taking action to prevent or control a health issue. These barriers may be financial, logistical, or psychological. For example, someone may be deterred from exercising regularly due to a lack of time or access to a gym.

The HBM has been applied to a wide range of preventative health behaviors, including cancer screenings, vaccinations, and healthy lifestyle choices. Research has shown that individuals who have higher levels of perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits, and lower levels of barriers are more likely to engage in preventative health behaviors.

Healthcare providers and public health professionals can use the HBM to design interventions and communication strategies that promote preventative health behaviors. By addressing and changing individuals’ beliefs and perceptions, these interventions can help to increase motivation and enable people to take action to protect their health.

In conclusion, the Health Belief Model is a valuable framework for understanding and promoting preventative health behaviors. By considering individuals’ beliefs and perceptions about their health, healthcare providers can design effective interventions that motivate and empower people to take control of their well-being. The HBM plays a crucial role in shaping public health strategies and encouraging individuals to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent the onset of diseases and illnesses.

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HEALTH

How to Perform CPR Fast and Effectively

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(NaturalHealthyNews.com) – EVERYONE HAS SEEN THE tense moments in movies where someone collapses, and someone else dashes to the scene to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

One crucial action, such as retrieving an automated external defibrillator (AED), can make the difference between life and death. This action is typically not given much emphasis.

Follow these life-saving steps immediately:

Step 1: Check the Scene

Check to see if the person is alright by tapping them and asking if there are any chemical spills or downed electrical lines.

Step 2: Check for Breathing

Proceed to the next step immediately if they are not breathing or are only sometimes gasping for air.

Step 3: Call 911 and Grab the AED

Tell anyone close to perform these actions so that you can start CPR. Gordon Tomaselli, M.D., a former president of the American Heart Association, advises skipping the AED and beginning compressions as soon as possible if you have to search for the device that shocks the heart back into rhythm.

Step 4: Start CPR

Use the AED first if it’s nearby: When an AED shock is administered within the first minute of a cardiac arrest, nine out of ten victims survive. Perform chest compressions until aid comes if an AED is not available.

Compressions can increase the chances of survival by two or three times if performed in the first few minutes after cardiac arrest.

How to Do Chest Compressions: Place the heel of one hand in the center of the chest, precisely at the nipple line, while kneeling next to the individual to perform chest compressions.

Put the other one on top of the initial one. Put your fingers together. Locked elbows, apply force quickly. Compress between 100 and 120 times per minute; this is the beat of “Stayin’ Alive.”

Each time, delve two inches deeper.

Step 5: Follow the AED’s Instructions

The AED’s audio instructions walk you through every stage of using it after you turn it on. All you have to do is listen and answer. The instructions will tell you how to position the electrode pads and whether you should click the button to shock someone.

They also recommend restarting CPR if a shock is ineffective.

Step 6: Continue CPR

Hands-only CPR is equally successful in the initial minutes following cardiac arrest in adults and teenagers as it is when combined with rescue breathing.

Continue until your breathing returns, assistance comes, or you cannot continue.

If you are faced with a situation where someone near you requires CPR, follow the step-by-step guide below to potentially save a life.

Copyright 2024. NaturalHealthyNews.com

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HEALTH

Your 4-Week Plan for Better Mental Wellness

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(NaturalHealthyNews.com) – Everything in your day to day and your life is impacted by your mental health. There are other options outside therapy, medication, and even meditation to maximize it.

You can do many little things to improve your mental health, remove obstacles in your path, and achieve your life goals.

Being happy with your mental health does not imply that you never experience terrible days. It means you can handle those days with more extraordinary fortitude and less effort.

And perhaps you can figure out how to prepare yourself for even fewer of them down the road.

This four-week strategy helps you do things differently, think outside the box, overcome obstacles, and feel joy and amazement. In essence, it improves your mental health.

Week 1: Take a Breather

Day 1: Pause for a Minute

Take a moment to ground yourself by noticing 5 things you can see, 4 you can touch, 3 you can hear, 2 you can smell, and 1 you can taste.

Day 2: Focus on Your Breath

Practice 4-7-8 breathing: inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7, and exhale for 8. Repeat a few times to relax.

Day 3: Let Your Mind Wander

Sit quietly without distractions, allowing your mind to relax and think positively, boosting creativity and mood.

Day 4: Embrace JOMO

Limit social media use and enjoy the joy of missing out (JOMO). Focus on what matters to you rather than online content.

Day 5: Get Some Rest

Prioritize sleep by setting a bedtime, keeping your room cool, and avoiding screens before bed.

Week 2: Ask a Question a Day

Day 1: What’s Going Well?

Focus on what’s working well to boost positivity and well-being.

Day 2: How Will This Decision Affect Me?

Consider the short-, medium-, and long-term consequences of your decisions to reduce anxiety.

Day 3: How Am I Feeling Right Now, Really?

Identify and understand your genuine emotions without labeling them as good or bad.

Day 4: What’s Possible Today?

Adapt to daily challenges by asking what’s achievable rather than striving for perfection.

Day 5: What Can I Let Go Of?

Identify and start letting go of negative self-talk or unhealthy relationships.

Week 3: Fuel Your Mood with Food

Day 1: Eat a Day’s Worth of Greens in One Meal

Incorporate two cups of leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, into your diet for mental and physical benefits.

Day 2: Sample the Rainbow

Eat various colorful fruits and vegetables to boost optimism and reduce stress.

Day 3: Dive Into Seafood

Include fatty fish like salmon for omega-3s and vitamin D, which support brain health.

Day 4: Shift Your Snacks

Choose nuts like almonds or walnuts to nourish your brain with essential nutrients.

Day 5: Add Friends

Share meals with friends to enhance mental wellness through social connections.

Week 4: Use These Mind Hacks

Day 1: Embrace Uncertainty

Accepting what you can’t control helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Day 2: Plan for Hurdles

Prepare for daily challenges to stay balanced and resilient.

Day 3: Change Your Language

Reframe negative emotions by noting them as feelings rather than defining yourself by them.

Day 4: Balance Your Negativity with Positivity

Counter negative thoughts with positive ones to improve mental well-being.

Day 5: Be Amazed

Experience awe through nature, art, or inspiring talks to boost creativity and mood.

Mental health impacts how we think, behave, and feel. It’s closely tied to physical health, and nearly everyone faces mental health challenges at some point.

This 30-day plan offers simple daily changes to help reduce stress and anxiety, enhancing mental well-being and resilience.

Copyright 2024. NaturalHealthyNews.com

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