Vitamin D deficiency is incredibly common in the US, but many Americans mistakenly believe they aren’t at risk because they consume vitamin-D-fortified foods (such as milk).
There are very few foods that actually have therapeutic levels of vitamin D naturally and even fortified foods do not contain enough vitamin D to support your health needs.
Despite its name, vitamin D is not a regular vitamin. It’s actually a steroid hormone that you are designed to obtain primarily through sun exposure, not via your diet.
Signs You May Be Vitamin D Deficient
- You Have Darker Skin
African Americans are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, because if you have dark skin, you may need as much as 10 times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as a person with pale skin!
As Dr. Holick explained, your skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen, so the more pigment you have, the more time you’ll need to spend in the sun to make adequate amounts of vitamin D.
- You Feel “Blue”
Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light and falls with decreased sun exposure. In 2006, scientists evaluated the effects of vitamin D on the mental health of 80 elderly patients and found those with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who received healthy doses.3
- You’re 50 or Older
As mentioned, as you get older your skin doesn’t make as much vitamin D in response to sun exposure. At the same time, your kidneys become less efficient at converting vitamin D into the form used by your body and older adults tend to spend more time indoors (i.e. getting even less sun exposure and therefore vitamin D).
- You’re Overweight or Obese (or Have a Higher Muscle Mass)
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble, hormone-like vitamin, which means body fat acts as a “sink” by collecting it. If you’re overweight or obese, you’re therefore likely going to need more vitamin D than a slimmer person — and the same holds true for people with higher body weights due to muscle mass.
- Your Bones Ache
According to Dr. Holick, many who see their doctor for aches and pains, especially in combination with fatigue, end up being misdiagnosed as having fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
“Many of these symptoms are classic signs of vitamin D deficiency osteomalacia, which is different from the vitamin D deficiency that causes osteoporosis in adults,” he says. “What’s happening is that the vitamin D deficiency causes a defect in putting calcium into the collagen matrix into your skeleton. As a result, you have throbbing, aching bone pain.”
- Head Sweating
According to Dr. Holick, one of the first, classic signs of vitamin D deficiency is a sweaty head. In fact, physicians used to ask new mothers about head sweating in their newborns for this very reason. Excessive sweating in newborns due to neuromuscular irritability is still described as a common, early symptom of vitamin D deficiency.4
- You Have Gut Trouble
Remember, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means if you have a gastrointestinal condition that affects your ability to absorb fat, you may have lower absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D as well. This includes gut conditions like Crohn’s, celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Vitamin D also fights infections, including colds and the flu, as it regulates the expression of genes that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses. In this interview above, Dr. Holick expounds on these and many other health benefits of vitamin D. For instance, optimizing your vitamin D levels can help protect against:
- Cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D is very important for reducing hypertension, atherosclerotic heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. According to Dr. Holick, one study showed that vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of heart attack by 50 percent. What’s worse, if you have a heart attack and you’re vitamin D deficient, your risk of dying from that heart attack creeps up to nearly 100 percent!
- Autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D is a potent immune modulator, making it very important for the prevention of autoimmune diseases, like multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Infections, including influenza. It also helps you fight infections of all kinds. A study done in Japan, for example, showed that schoolchildren taking 1,200 units of vitamin D per day during winter reduced their risk of getting influenza A infection by about 40 percent. I believe it’s far more prudent, safer, less expensive, and most importantly, far more effective to optimize your vitamin D levels than to get vaccinated against the flu.
- DNA repair and metabolic processes. One of Dr. Holick’s studies showed that healthy volunteers taking 2,000 IUs of vitamin D per day for a few months up-regulated 291 different genes that control up to 80 different metabolic processes, from improving DNA repair to having effect on autoxidation (oxidation that occurs in the presence of oxygen and/or UV radiation, which has implications for aging and cancer, for example), boosting your immune system and many other biological processes.
Jeet Kune Do (JKD) literally translated from Chinese means “way of the intercepting fist”. It reflects Bruce Lee’s concepts, philosophy and training methods with regards to martial arts . Bruce Lee who started his base with Wing Chun Kung Fu eventually rejected the notion of sticking to one art and began exploring various other martial arts styles including boxing, judo, wrestling, savate and fencing . Bruce Lee disposed with ideals within a style adopting a flexible approach to seek what works best. He christened his martial art as Jeet Kune Do.
“There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence, combined with solid research efforts, that suggests intuition is a critical aspect of how we humans interact with our environment and how, ultimately, we make many of our decisions,” said Ivy Estabrooke of the Office of Naval Research, who is investigating the power of intuition which has helped troops make important and quick decisions during combat.
Whether it’s deciding which job to take, which direction to turn when you’re lost, or how to handle a conflict in your family, intuition sometimes knows better than the rational mind. The problem is that many of us have buried that little voice so deeply within, we have a hard time hearing or feeling where it is guiding us.
The good news is that your intuition is still there, you merely have to learn to hear it again.
TO BETTER LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION, TRY:
- Meditation: Spend time in silence, simply listening.
- Commune with nature: Aim to get at least sometime outside every single day.
- Creativity: Tap into your internal artist by drawing, writing, painting, or making music.
- Learn to listen: In general, listen to friends, families, silence, and yourself.
- Be body conscious: Learn to appreciate the little signs and signals from your body, when it tells you it’s tired, joyful, in need of love, or getting sick.
- Let go: Warm up to the idea that you don’t have to control everything. Life is going to happen whether you overthink it or not. Relax.
- Stay positive: A 2013 study in the journal Psychological Science found that being in a good mood boosted participant’s abilities to make intuitive calls in a word game. So smile!
Working on becoming more intuitive requires you to adopt healthier habits and a healthier mindset. These are things that are good for your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing, no matter your end goal. And if cultivated regularly, they could lend themselves to better decision making and more happiness overall.
Credits: Elizabeth Renter
Try my UFC Fight Night Workout
20 mins Total:
– 10 mins As Many Reps As Possible
Double Unders (No Rest)
– 10 mins (AMRAP) Burpee, Clean/Jerk 50 lbs dumbbells (No Rest)
It’s National Peanut Butter Day! Peanut butter is a staple in over 90% of American households and the average person consumes more than six pounds of peanut products each year. Women and children prefer creamy peanut butter, while most men go for the chunky variety.
George Bayle, a St. Louis snack food maker, started making peanut butter in the 1890s. For many years, manufacturers struggled with the oil separating from the grainy solids of the peaut butter. In 1923 Heinz became the first company to homogenize the peanuts into the spreadable butter we know and love today. Before long peanut butter was a classic American food.
Did you know that it takes 550 peanuts to make a 12 ounce jar of peanut butter? Peanuts are cholesterol free and an excellent source of protein. In fact, it’s the high protein content that causes peanut butter to stick to the roof of your mouth.
To celebrate National Peanut Butter Day, bake some peanut butter cookies, spread some tasty peanut butter on toast, or enjoy a spoonful right out of the jar!
It’s National Pie Day! Pies have a long and illustrious history, but the sweet filled treats we enjoy today are a relatively recent innovation. The Greeks and Romans made some of the first pies in history. People filled pastry shells with different kinds of meat or seafood, flavored them with a variety of spices, and served them as part of the sweet course of the meal.
When the Pilgrims made their voyage to the New World in the late 1600s they arrived with English pie recipes for beef, lamb, duck, or pigeon. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that the first sweet pies emerged. These featured the ingredients we’re accustomed to today, and by the 1940s, pie had become the iconic American dessert.
Whether you prefer apple, berry, pumpkin, or sweet potato, bake your favorite pie recipe tonight in honor of National Pie Day!
At a very young age I became very aware that life is truly fleeting. My mother always said that as a child I seemed to be aware of many things that were unusual for a young tot to be aware of…I would stare into people versus at people, I would sit for long periods of time pondering this toy or that toy, I read at an early age, I was sensitive to other people’s emotions etc.
I believe I became aware of life and death and our mortality due to the fact that I read books beyond my age group early on in my childhood. I was, and have never been, daunted or afraid of the idea of death or how infinitesimal our lives are in the big picture.
I, as a grade school child, became aware of a strong belief inside of myself that life was a cycle. I am sure it took quite a bit of maturing before I began to put the idea into actual words but I do remember thinking that there was more…that something beyond ‘this incarnation’existed.
My mother fostered a lot of my current day spirituality and beliefs. She fed my imagination and in light of that she built the base blocks of what I value today; of what I believe in when it comes to life after death, faith, other lives etc. I remember how she used to tell me how before we are born we are little sparks of light or energy that float around and when it is our time to be born our light goes into the belly of a woman who has a baby in it. From there our light charges that child; becomes that person. At death , she said, that light leaves the physical body and goes back to float and fly about with all the other sparks of energy out there. Some sparks come back as a different human being and some go on to be other things either here in this plane or perhaps on another plane. I still believe that base theory to hold true in many instances.
I am quite fond of the fact that I am mortal. In my opinion, I think I would find being immortal to be a drag. I rather like the idea that after this life there may be another life to live or maybe another realm or plane of existence to experience. I wish to live this life to its’ very fullest and when my time comes I hope to be like the caterpillar and go through or be born/brought forth in a new way.
Immortality , to me, would be imprisonment. Mortality makes this life that more precious and valuable.
Enjoy the link below. It says quite a bit about how Pagans, of which I am, view death and the cycle of Life.