It’s not always obvious where your vitamins are coming from and what glorious things they’re doing for our bodies. We know they’re good, but in what ways? And what do we need to eat to benefit from them?
By following along, we’ll help to demystify the story of each vitamin one-by-one, helping you on your path to a more nutritious, vitamin-rich diet with Spicewell.
Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin
Let’s begin with a fun fact: nearly half of the United States population is deficient in vitamin D.
This deficiency particularly affects younger women, infants and older adults. For people of color, vitamin D deficiency jumps even higher, affecting more than 75% of the population.
Vitamin D is essential for bone health, mental health, immune system function, and to treat certain cancers and diabetes.
Your body produces vitamin D naturally when the cholesterol in your unprotected skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun.
Ok great! Let’s get outside then! Unfortunately, the amount of vitamin D your body is able to produce in this way is variable, and while wearing sunscreen is obviously super important for protecting your body from skin cancers, it also stops the production of vitamin D from being made. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) doesn’t recommend trying to get vitamin D from the sun at all.
So Where Should You Get vitamin D From?
Over the past decade, there’s been a bombardment of medical papers linking low levels of vitamin D — which so many people have — with cancer, diabetes, heart disease and a host of other frightening conditions, leading to doctors routinely testing vitamin D levels in patients, and deficient patients using supplements to boost their vitamin D.
It’s also worth mentioning that Vitamin D testing isn’t always the most accurate. A study published by the American College of Physicians found that there is insufficient evidence to suggest that testing for vitamin D levels is helpful or necessary. And for those who do have low levels of vitamin D, it’s unlikely taking a supplement is not likely to do you any good.
In a randomized placebo-controlled trial by the New England Journal of Medicine, 25,000 participants were given either vitamin D supplements or a placebo for five years. The results show there was no difference between the two control groups. And this doesn’t even account for differences across skin-tone and race - which seems kind of like a big miss to us!
All this is to say, it’s best we get our vitamins — including vitamin D — naturally from foods. At Spicewell, all our vitamins are sourced from organic fruit and vegetables that are non-GMO, vegan and gluten free. Our vitamin D comes from organic maitake and shiitake mushrooms.
All you have to do is season your meals with our salt and pepper, packed with the 21 vitamins and minerals your body needs to become its very own UV protected ray of sunshine!
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We have a vision of everyone eating more healthfully, and we hope you’ll join us. We would love to be a small part of that journey and help your pantry become your medicine cabinet. Thank you for your support as we are just getting started!