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Vitamin D: The Only Thing That Could Be Missing From Your Paleo Diet

The importance of vitamin D in a well-designed paleo meal plan cannot be overstated. Within paleo diet circles, you’ll frequently hear discussions about the significance of incorporating vitamin D, and for good reason. Is Vitamin D Missing From Your Paleo Diet?

Now, you might wonder why this nutrient is emphasized. Well, the primary reason lies in what serves as the primary source of vitamin D—sunlight. Individuals who have limited exposure to sunlight often find themselves deficient in this essential nutrient, which is integral to our overall health.

Missing from you Paleo Diet

The process of vitamin D production occurs when UVB rays interact with the cholesterol in your skin. Yes, cholesterol plays a vital role in maintaining good health, and interestingly, efforts to lower cholesterol levels can inadvertently lead to vitamin D deficiency.

When you apply sunscreen, you impede the absorption of vitamin D into your skin. Thus, it becomes important to find a balance and spend some time in the sun without sunscreen.

Of course, it’s essential to exercise caution and avoid excessive sun exposure that may result in sunburn, as that is detrimental to your health. Rest assured, our bodies possess a natural defense mechanism called a natural tan, which helps protect us from excessive sunlight.

Here’s how the natural tan process works:

Vitamin D and vitamin B9 (folate) are in constant competition within our bodies, both being crucial for our well-being. When you expose yourself to sunlight, your skin darkens, reducing the absorption of vitamin D to prevent folate deficiency.

Remember to retreat from the sun once your skin gains a slight coloration.

The other natural way to obtain vitamin D is through the consumption of fatty fish since the vitamin is stored in the fat.

The significance of vitamin D lies in its role in maintaining bone health, regulating calcium and phosphate levels, minimizing inflammation, and controlling cell production and turnover.

While some recommend a daily dose of at least 200 IU (international units) for individuals aged 13 to 50, and 400 IU for older individuals, it is important to note that these doses are quite low.

Research suggests that those residing in the US and Canada should aim for 2,000 IU, and even higher doses such as 10,000 IU are considered safe. In sunny regions, individuals can naturally obtain as much as 12,000 IU daily. Rest assured, our bodies have inherent protective mechanisms to shield us from excessive sun exposure.

For those who do not experience year-round sunny weather, it is advisable to consider a vitamin D3 supplement, ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 IU, preferably in gel capsule form as fat is required for optimal absorption.

However, the ideal approach to ensuring adequate vitamin D levels is to bask in the sun daily and regularly include wild salmon or other fatty fish in your diet.

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