Finding Vitamin D During the Winter Months
Vitamin D is an important nutrient for our bodies. In warm months, the easiest way to boost your intake is to spend 15 minutes in the sun. But what can you do when snow and cold weather keep you indoors? While not as easy as stepping outside, there is plenty you can do to boost your vitamin D levels during the winter months.
What is vitamin D and why is it important?
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphate, according to the National Institutes of Health. Vitamin D is best known for working in tandem with calcium to help you build and maintain strong bones.
Getting enough vitamin D can provide protection against respiratory infections, promote healthy blood sugar levels, prevent pregnancy complications and even reduce your risk of developing or dying from various types of cancer. By paying attention to the amount of vitamin D you are absorbing, you are adding a layer of protection from broken bones and various diseases.
How much vitamin D is enough?
The National Institutes of Health recommends an average daily intake of 600 IU. However, up to 5,000 IU can be taken daily without any adverse side effects. To give perspective, 3 ounces of salmon contains 570 IU of vitamin D, and a half cup of white mushrooms provides 366 IU.
As you age, your skin’s ability to harness vitamin D from sunlight decreases. Because of this, the NIH recommends those 70 and older aim for 800 IU of vitamin D.
What are some common ways to increase your level of vitamin D?
Many foods in the grocery store are fortified, meaning they are infused with micronutrients. Look at labels to determine if the product is supplemented with vitamin D. Common fortified foods include dairy products, orange juice, egg yolks, soy milk and cereals.
Some foods naturally have a high level of vitamin D, including:
- Fatty fish and seafood like salmon, sardines, tuna and rainbow trout
- Some types of mushrooms
- Red meat
- Cod liver oil
Consuming food is not the only way to increase your vitamin D levels. Consider using a UV lamp during the workday to simulate sunlight. Additionally, vitamin supplements can be added to your morning routine to boost your vitamin D intake.
While you might have to work harder to meet your suggested vitamin D requirements, knowing alternative sources of the nutrient can fill your dietary needs and, more importantly, help you to stay healthy. By consuming 600 IU of vitamin D a day, your body will be better equipped to fight infection and build stronger bones during these long winter months.
The Encircled Care program is unique to northeast Indiana, grouping all chronic care programs together. This approach streamlines the referral process and helps providers communicate all available levels of support to patients.
“When patients come to the end of a hospital stay or treatment, they may not know where to seek the continued care they are entitled to,” said Karen Bartrom, director of clinical integration and documentation at Cameron Hospital. “The new Encircled Care program will help Cameron wrap our arms around these patients and guide them to the next appropriate step so they feel supported throughout their lifetime.”
Cameron Encircled Care will provide patients with access to the following services through the three service lines:
- Pain control
- Symptom management
- Medication management
- Palliative in-home visits
- Spiritual and emotional support
- Advanced Care planning
- Oversight and education activities
Patients can qualify for any service in the Encircled Care program with a referral from a physician
“The Encircled Care program will enable Cameron to better help our patients stay as healthy as possible,” said Angie Logan, president and CEO at Cameron. “We are so excited to announce this service and to continue to provide high-quality, close-to-home care to our communities.”
To learn more about the Encircled Care program and how to qualify, visit www.cameronmch.com/services/encircled-care-program/. For more information on Cameron Hospital, please visit www.cameronmch.com or our Facebook page, @CameronHospital.
For more information, contact:
(260) 665-2141, x5769
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416 E. Maumee Street, Angola, IN 46703