Making the sunshine

Why you need vitamin D during menopause

Although vitamin D is vital for everyone, it is particularly important for women going through menopause. Vitamin D isn’t actually a vitamin, although scientists refer to it as such. It’s a steroid hormone that you get from sun exposure, food sources, and/or supplementation. The term refers to either vitamin D2 or D3, but D3 (chemical name 25-hydroxy vitamin D) is real vitamin D—it’s the same substance produced naturally through your skin by sun exposure.

Optimising your vitamin D levels could help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer. According to one large-scale, randomised, placebo-controlled study, it can cut the risk by up to 60 percent.

The most important factor is your vitamin D serum level. To prevent a wide variety of diseases and health ailments, your vitamin D level needs to be between 50 and 70 ng/ml year-round. According to the most recent research, adults need about 8,000 IU’s of oral vitamin D3 per day in order to get serum levels above 40 ng/ml.

The ideal way to optimise your vitamin D level is through sun exposure in summer, or a safe tanning bed during the winter months. According to Dr Joseph Mercola, a tanning bed comes a close second after natural sun exposure as an ideal way to optimise your vitamin D levels, as opposed to getting it from fortified food items or supplements. However, it must be the right kind of tanning bed—one that produces UVB without dangerous EMF radiation produced from magnetic ballasts used in most conventional tanning beds. Vitamin D is also found naturally in foods such as eggs, organ meats, animal fat, preferably organic, and cod liver oil. If you take a vitamin D3 supplement, you also need to take vitamin K2 as it helps move calcium to your bones and teeth, and remove it from your arteries and soft tissues.

 As a very general guide, you need to expose about 40 percent of your entire body for approximately 20 minutes to the sun, between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm, when the sun is at its zenith, as UVB rays will only penetrate the atmosphere when the sun is above an angle of about 50° from the horizon.

Morning Sunshine Breakfast Shake

If you’re looking for an extra surge of energy in the morning, a good and hearty breakfast may be exactly what you need to get you going. But forget about the usual carb-loaded fares like waffles, cereals and bagels — they do nothing for your health and instead load you up with unhealthy levels of sugar.

Total time: 20 minutes to 1 hour Serving Size: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of raw cashews 
  • 2 cups filtered water or coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon powdered wheatgrass or other greens

Method

  • Soak cashews for 20 minutes to an hour. Drain and rinse.
  • Place cashews in blender with all ingredients, except for the chia seeds. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour into tall cups and stir in the chia seeds.

7 signs you may be Vitamin D Deficient