Sunshine Vitamin – Vitamin D!
Working in doors from home over the past year has meant that we have spent a lot more time indoors. Gone are the exotic holidays to far flung places, or long weekends to the South of France, Portugal, or Spain. Instead, we have been hibernating in our recently converted living rooms, come ‘home offices’ with the only light being absorbed being blue light emitted by our computers, which we all know is not good for us. Sunny holidays have many benefits – lifting our spirits, leaving us with great memories and adventures, and most importantly providing us with much needed sunshine, and that all important Vitamin associated with the sun – Vitamin D. For those of us lucky enough to have a garden in the UK, last year provided us with lots of warm weather, a blessing in disguise all things considered, but the UK weather is not normally as kind to us. We are all too familiar with experiencing four seasons in a single day!
THE BENEFITS OF VITAMIN D
Vitamin D is being touted as a bit of a miracle vitamin – it is known to boost our immunity, clear up our skin, and to reduce our anxiety levels. It plays a crucial role in maintaining strong and healthy bones, tackling flus and viruses, regulating our insulin levels, boosting our brain power and in supporting our cardiovascular health.
Every cell in our body has a Vitamin D receptor at sufficient intensities. Our immune system is very dependent upon its availability to help enhance our immunity and adaptive immunity thereby creating antibodies. Vitamin D is critical for our body to absorb calcium, low levels of Vitamin D can lead to depression and have been linked to endometriosis, and it is particularly important for pregnant women. It also helps us to lose weight. Studies found people taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement were able to lose more weight, as the addition of calcium and vitamin D had an appetite-suppressing effect.
There are two primary forms of Vitamin D: D2, which is present in our gut and sourced through our diet, and D3 which is created in our skin via sunlight. Vitamin D3 is superior to D2. Only 10% of the Vitamin D our bodies needs comes through our diets, through eating foods including egg yolks, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and shitake mushrooms, the balance comes through sunlight, which we only need in small amounts – 10 – 15 minutes a day is sufficient.
BOOSTING VITAMIN D LEVELS
Vitamin D functions as a steroid in our skin, working within our cells’ nucleus to stimulate and regulate various functions. A 2012 study suggests that it may play a protective role in minimising the risks associated with skin cancer. Several skincare brands have launched products high in Vitamin D – including Zelens, Herbivore, Drunk Elephant, Elemis, Murad, and Dr Brandt. The Vitamin D included in these products is a topical form, renowned for helping to repair our skin through regenerating our skin cells, strengthening our skin’s barrier, and evening out the tone and texture of our skin. Vitamin D helps to reduce inflammation in our skin and conditions such as eczema and acne can be treated with Vitamin D. Whilst 10 -15 minutes of sun exposure each day doesn’t sound unachievable, not many of us venture out every day, so it’s likely that a supplement will help us to reach the daily recommended amount especially when living in colder climates.
The general recommendation is that we supplement with 10mcg of vitamin D per day during the winter months. Wild Nutrition specialises in ethically and sustainably sourced supplements, that supercharge our defence system with an active form of Vitamin D3. The brand also provides a vegan alternative in the same product. Solgar has a chewable supplement, an easier method of absorbing this nutrient, that helps to support healthy bones and teeth. Healthspan and DLux have created sprays that provide adults with the required daily dosage of Vitamin D by spraying the inside of our cheek, this is then ingested directly into our bloodstream, making it quicker and easier to absorb. Understanding the importance of Vitamin D and ensuring that we are regularly topping this up – whether through our daily dose of sunshine, supplements, our diets, and topically – is crucial to our health and happiness. Don’t neglect your daily serving of this sunshine Vitamin.
ENSURING YOU ARE TOPPING THIS UP
Understanding the importance of Vitamin D and ensuring that we are regularly topping this up – whether through our daily dose of sunshine, supplements, our diets, and topically – is crucial to our health and happiness. Don’t neglect your daily serving of this sunshine Vitamin.
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