We keep reading more and more about how important sunshine is for our health. Low levels of vitamin D double the risk of a heart attack and stroke. Low levels of the sunshine vitamin can increase the chance of developing high blood pressure and chronic blood vessel inflammation. As many as 75% of Americans may not be getting enough vitamin D for optimal health. People who are 50 years or older are more susceptible to this deficiency.
Vitamin D is found in foods, such as sardines, salmon, fortified milk and cereals. Another solution is to sit in the sun for a short time. Some doctors are recommending 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure a few times a week, depending upon a persons skin pigmentation.
A Harvard study discovered that men with the highest level of vitamin D were least likely to have heart attacks. Another study has found that increasing Vitamin D reduces the risk of colorectal cancer, hip fractures, tooth loss and increases muscle strength.
A good way to help increase levels of vitamin D is to spend time in the garden. A Therapeutic Garden that has been specifically designed to encourage people to spend time outside will help people increase their levels of vitamin D. These gardens can encourage socialization and people will want to be outside enjoying each others company and taking in the suns healing rays. This is especially important for older adults who may have lower levels of this important vitamin.
Like your mother said – ‘Eat your vegetables and go play outside.’