Vitamin D and exercise

As reported by Health Day News, Physical activity and adequate levels of vitamin D could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

One of the studies mentioned in the article showed that people that did moderate to heavy amounts of exercise had about 40 percent less risk of developing any type of dementia. At the same time, people with the lowest level of physical activity were 45 percent more likely to develop dementia. These trends were strongest in men. Also, a separate study showed that deficiency in vitamin D increased the risk of cognitive impairment.

We can all exercise anywhere and anytime. There are so many benefits of exercising, that adding this latest benefit is just fantastic. On the other hand, getting more vitamin D can prove to be more difficult. Our skin naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but as you know, we have all been very careful to avoid sun exposure to protect against skin cancer. Because of this, it is likely that most of us are not producing enough vitamin D.

One solution would be to go out and exercise early or late in the day. That way, we could get the physical activity and the vitamin D without increasing the risk of skin cancer.  But, others may prefer to exercise at the gym or on the basketball court. Another complication is that older adults may find it harder to produce vitamin D because skin becomes less efficient at producing vitamin D as we age. Consumption of vitamin D could be an option in these cases. However, few foods contain vitamin D.

One salad vegetable that contains vitamin D naturally is mushrooms. Unfortunately, the practice of producing mushrooms indoors means they are less able to produce vitamin D. Research is currently being conducted in Australia, Canada, and the USA to increase the content of vitamin D in mushrooms by exposing them to ultraviolet light.

I am certainly looking forward to these super-mushrooms in the future. They will be much better than cod liver oil, that’s for sure!  If you have a salad recipe with mushrooms you would like to share, send it to info@lovemysalad.com.au.

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