Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Let the sun shine in!

Sun shine, birds twittering. Yes, it's finally summer. I admit it, I'm a sun junkie. My house has walls of windows and skylights. After a full day of clouds, I get mopey. I rarely turn on a light switch during the day. I spend hours outdoors.

Sun helps to make Vitamin D. Last October,
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) doubled the recommended amount of vitamin D for infants, children and adolescents from 200 IU to 400 IU a day. This May, some researchers suggested increasing doses of Vitamin D to a whopping 2,000 IUs a day. Note that the AAP does not recommend children getting more than 2,000 IUs per day.

Here are some good sources of Vitamin D:

  • Fatty fish. Think salmon, tuna or sardines

  • Milk, specifically cow

  • Certain cereals

  • Fortified juices

  • Sunlight, if it's between 10 and 20 minutes a day on bare skin (Because UV rays are known to cause cancer, I'm not running around without my sun screen.)

Vitamin D is fat soluble, which means the vitamin may need some fat or oil to be absorbed properly. That makes cow's milk and salmon great sun alternatives. However you choose to get it, make sure you pay attention to your Vitamin D intake. It's not just for strong bones - though who doesn't want those?

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