If you need some incentive to spend time outside in the chilly months, how about this: It may help you subtract five years from your age.

A recent study looked at 2,160 women aged 18 to 79. Researchers evaluated the women’s blood levels of vitamin D, signs of aging in DNA, and C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation). And they found that those with the highest levels of vitamin D had healthier chromosomes in their DNA – so much so that it represented a five-year difference in chronological aging.

Because the sun is farther from the earth during the winter months (and because we bundle up when it’s cold outside!), we absorb much less of the sun’s age-reversing, vitamin D-producing rays. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D by supplementing with a high quality supplement.

But please remember: Never take more than 5,000 IU of vitamin D on a regular basis without consulting a physician and having your blood levels tested.

[Ed. Note: Sunshine and vitamin D can do more than help keep you young. They can have positive effects on everything from cancer and diabetes to athletic performance, brain function, and neonatal health.

The holidays are right around the corner – along with tons of high-sugar, high-carb goodies. Nutrition expert Kelley Herring can help you survive the holidays with her brand-new recipe e-books, Guilt-Free Desserts and Healthy Holiday Hors d’Oeuvres.]

Kelley Herring

Kelley Herring is the Founder & CEO of Healing Gourmet – a multimedia company that educates on how foods promote health and protect against disease. As a young adult, Kelley battled a debilitating health condition that went misdiagnosed by multiple doctors for more than a year. Finding no help from “modern medicine”, she turned to her own knowledge of biochemistry and her passion for health research. She soon learned that her symptoms were related to nutrition and within weeks, she charted a course back to health with nothing more than simple lifestyle changes and the power of the plate. The lessons she learned spawned the creation of Healing Gourmet.
Kelley is a firm believer in vigorous exercise, moderate sun exposure and delicious, healthy, home-cooked meals. She is also the creator of Healing Gourmet’s Personalized Nutrition Software and Editor-in-Chief of the Healing Gourmet book series published by McGraw-Hill including Eat to Fight Cancer, Eat to Beat Diabetes, Eat to Lower Cholesterol and Eat to Boost Fertility.