The Top 5 Beauty Benefits of Vitamin D
Can you think of a better beauty vitamin than one created by the magic of the sun?
A cheeky five-ten minute break twice a week is enough to (literally) catch some rays and make on average 80% of your total vitamin D requirements. Like getting up early, it’s just easier in summer. But you needn’t miss out on the sunshine vitamin this winter. Read on to discover the top five beauty benefits of vitamin D, and what foods to eat to get them.
1. Youthful Skin
Strengthening your skin while you’re out getting your daily dose of vitamin D is one of nature’s many genius solutions. To combat the effects of its own synthesizing source, vitamin D doubles as an anti-oxidant that helps combat sun damage.
When eaten or taken via supplementation, the antioxidant power of vitamin D helps to fight free radicals that cause fine lines and wrinkles. Of course, the sun is a source of many great things but UV damage is not one of them. To get enough vitamin D takes about half the amount of time it takes to get burnt. Which in a New Zealand summer is not a long time, so applying sunscreen when spending more than ten minutes outdoors is a must.
2. Thicker Hair
You know those people whose hair grows in wild abundance? Alongside a diet rich in hair strengthening protein and split-ending fighting vitamin C, their hair follicles are receiving significant amounts of vitamin D. As well as being a pre-cursor to the hair growth cycle, vitamin D reduces stress and depression, which can be a cause or contribution to unexplained hair loss.
Rise, shine and greet a good hair day with vitamin D rich eggs, sardines on toast, or a generous shot of cod-liver oil just like your grandma used to have. If neither of those appeal to your morning palate, mushrooms (the only plant based source available) are your best bet.
4. Stronger Nails
While breaking a nail is hardly a health risk, nails that crack often can be a sign of an underlying deficiency. The nail-strengthening abilities of vitamin D comes from its role in aiding calcium and phosphorous absorption. Without calcium our nails peel and our bones become soft and brittle.
Unfortunately, Vitamin D deficiency is common in New Zealand. At its worst, deficiency can lead to rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults. Because of this some margarines, milks, and cheeses in New Zealand are fortified with vitamin D. If you’re a strict vegetarian or vegan, check out some health food stores for imported, (mainly from the USA) fortified brands of soy and almond milks, or consider supplementation to get you through the winter months.
2. Healthier Skin
When it comes to immune-related skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, both sunshine and the immune strengthening effects of vitamin D have been proven effective.
Adding healthy servings of vitamin D-rich wild caught salmon to your favourite green leafy salad packs a double punch. The essential fatty acids (EFA’s) will hydrate your skin from the inside out, and because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, the EFA’s help the body absorb the levels already present. Genius, again.
Make the most of the fading summer and take your beauty breaks outdoors. Because before you know it winter will steal the sunshine vitamin as well your tan, and you’ll be left checking labels in the chilled section. Brrrr.
Disclaimer: These tips are intended for general health only. Please book a Wellness Consult for serious skin concerns and persistent conditions.