Get your sunshine vitamin today!
Optimal Vitamin D levels are incredibly important for fertility and healthy pregnancy.
Vitamin D acts as a hormone in the body and is instrumental in signaling genes that make estrogen. It also can assist with the formation of mature eggs and is also important in embryo implantation.
During pregnancy it is important in the chain of events that organizes immune cells in the uterus to fight infection, Studies further link deficiency with increased risk of preterm birth, gestational diabetes and vaginal bacterial infections during pregnancy.
Here are the 3 best way to optimize your vitamin D levels in order of effectiveness:
The most effective way is to get some sun exposure without sunscreen for just 10-15 minutes per day, ideally with the arms and legs exposed. Do this outside of peak sun hours to avoid overexposure (go before 10am or after 2pm.) You do not have to tan or burn to achieve vitamin D synthesis. It is important to protect your skin otherwise from skin damage due to overexposure by using a natural sunscreen. Summer is the best time of year to get your sunshine vitamin, so take advantage of the lovely weather and go for a 10 minute walk each day!
Food sources of vitamin D are pastured eggs (with the yolks!) grass fed liver, wild caught fatty fish like cod, sardines and salmon, almond milk, and shiitake mushrooms. See a D filled breakfast recipe at the end!
When selecting a supplement be sure to find one with vitamin D3 in a liquid drop or capsule form. Have your levels drawn by your physician before supplementing. In cases of deficiency 5000-10,000 IU per day can help restore normal levels in about 3 months, 2000-4000 IU is a good baseline maintenance dose. To improve absorption rates, take vitamin D with food that contains some fat and some magnesium. Avocados are wonderful as they are an excellent source of both, spinach and dark chocolate are other great foods to combine with D supplements and foods to enhance absorption.
*When supplementing, be sure to have you levels checked every 3 months to ensure you’re in an optimal range. The Vitamin D Council recommends levels over 40 ng/ml and not more than 80 ng/ml as ideal.
*Pay special attention to your levels if you live in an area with lots of smog that can block the rays from the sun that incite D synthesis, if you are overweight or if you have darker skin. All of these things can inhibit D levels, be sure to have your levels checked.
While you’re enjoying your walk in the sun, remember that not only does Vitamin D enhance reproductive health, it is powerful in enhancing your heart health, overall hormonal balance, building your immune system and strengthening your immune system and protecting you from cancer and diabetes. Have a lovely walk!
Looking for an easy way to add Vitamin D to your diet? Check out the recipe below!
Vitamin D filled Frittata:
3-5 oz of leftover wild salmon or smoked salmon
7-8 pasture raised eggs
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
Handful of sautéed greens like spinach or arugula
Sautéed shiitake mushrooms
Fresh or dried herbs (tarragon, thyme and basil are wonderful)
Grass fed or pastured butter for cooking
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 350
Crack eggs into a large bowl and whisk together with almond milk and salt and pepper
Sautée herbs and veggies in a bit of butter until tender in an ovenproof pan, flake the salmon and add to the pan.
Add the whisked eggs to the pan and begin to scramble until about halfway cooked.
Put the entire pan in the oven for 3-8 minutes until fluffy and cooked through.
Be careful with the hot pan handle as you remove from the oven, Sprinkle with salt and pepper, cut into wedges and enjoy!
This can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days after and enjoyed as leftovers.