[By Alicia Greene]
Here’s a secret to feeling good and looking great— vitamin D and B12!
While many will blame their excessive dietary habits for their weight gain, it could be what you’re not eating that’s actually responsible. The Archives of Internal Medicine reports that 77 percent of Americans are vitamin-D deficient. Numerous studies have shown D’s crucial role in strengthening bones, fighting depression, and boosting immunity. Recently, after decades of research and thousands of studies, experts may have finally proven that missing out on that one little letter could be a major factor in pushing the number on your scale higher and higher.
Are you ‘D-eficient’?
Unlike most vitamins, D can be manufactured by your body, provided you’re exposed to sunlight. But compulsive use of sunscreen to prevent wrinkels and other skin changes reduces your skin’s ability to make D by 90 to 99 percent, depending on the level of SPF. And even if you don’t use sun protection (bad girl!), it’s tough to catch the right rays. The sunlight you’re most likely to get on a daily basis—in the early morning and late afternoon—is too weak to generate enough D. Throw in air pollution, cloud cover and other sun shielding factors that can filter out some of the UVB rays, so you get less UV than what you actually think you are getting most times of the day.
‘D-iet’ is the way
Unless, you are willing to trade a sun-damaged alligator skin for higher vitamin D levels, a far safer, saner, and more satisfying way to up your D level is to get more of the vitamin from your diet. A doctor can administer a simple blood test called 25-hydroxy vitamin D, or 25-OH D, which is the most reliable way to tell not only whether you are deficient but also how severe your deficiency is. The surprising fact about an increase your consumption of D is that your waistband could start to feel a whole lot looser.
Vitamin D even optimizes your body’s ability to absorb other important weight-loss nutrients, especially calcium. When your body lacks calcium, it can experience up to a fivefold increase in the fatty acid synthase, an enzyme that converts calories into fat. In a 2009 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, obese women who were put on a 15-week diet and took 1,200 milligrams of calcium lost six times more
Why is Vitamin D important? Every cell in your body needs D to function properly—including fat cells. Special receptors for D signal whether you should burn fat or simply store it; Vitamin D is like a key that revs your body’s flab-burning mechanism. Meanwhile, receptors in your brain need D to keep hunger and cravings in check, as well as to pump up levels of the mood-elevating chemical serotonin. The end result: By fueling your body with the D-rich nutrients it needs to get out of a fat-storage state and into a fat-burning one, you could potentially speed weight loss by up to 70 percent.
B12 is the second happy vitamin you should not go without. Remember the old adage: You are what you eat? It’s true. Recent studies have shown that certain foods can help to bolster your happiness. For example, foods that are rich in B12 Vitamins can have a positive affect on mood, energy and memory.
Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin that’s found in a variety of foods such as fish, shellfish, meat, and dairy products. Vitamin B12 helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells. It’s also needed to make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy brain functioning and for a healthy nervous system. This powerhouse vitamin helps to fight off depression and anxiety, and increases memory and concentration.
Studies show that low B12 levels in the diet can lead to memory loss and irritability with the elderly at the most risk. To support there argument the top Five Vitamin B12-rich foods are:
- Canned Tuna
- Lean Beef
So if you are looking for a boost in your mood, and perhaps trim some inches off your waist easily, don’t neglect your “B”s and your “D”s today!