With it being darker now, we tend to go to work… it’s dark… we come home… it’s dark. With that, we obviously have less sunshine during the day and less contact with the sun.
Which is why I think it’s a good point to talk about vitamin D. What it does, and where we can get it from.
What vitamin D helps with
One of the reasons it’s so important is that it helps a lot of structures in the body. One of the main ones being the bones. It helps strengthen our bones. The other thing is the immune system. It helps boost the immune system.
Is it a coincidence that there’s less sunshine therefore less vitamin D available and then cold and flu seasons begins?
It’s important to have a good level of vitamin D prepared for that period. There’s lot’s of other benefits of vitamin D including health of the heart and controlling blood sugars. But those are probably the main two that we tend to talk about.
Where do we get vitamin D?
So, where do we get vitamin D? Well we produce vitamin D as a result of getting contact with the skin from the sun. If we have lot’s of contact with the sun during the summer, we can store a good amount in our fats. We can generally get through a good period without it, but we often need a bit of a boost at times.
The sun is the main thing, and what they tend to suggest is about 10-15 minutes in mid day sun with as much skin exposure as possible. Potentially, without any sun screen in that period. This is very much dependent on the environment, so the temperature that you’re actually going into and the type of skin you have.
Do you have a light skin/dark skin. If you have light skin, you’re not going to need quite as much exposure as someone with dark skin. So be realistic with it. Definitely do not risk yourself burning.
That’s the main way that we’ll get sun, it’s a good excuse to go for a winter holiday.
Or when you do get the chance to get out in the afternoon, go and get some fresh, fresh air and whatever little vitamin D there is to have.
Vitamin D from supplements
The second way to get vitamin D is from supplements. You tend to want to get a vitamin D3 supplement. Ideally you want to get that with K2. D3 helps to absorb calcium K2 sends it to the bones. Those two are pretty important if you feel that you might be slightly low on Vitamin D.
We tend to suggest that it’s a good idea to get a test, and we can direct you where to go for that. That way you’ll get a good idea of what level you are. You don’t want to be overdosing with vitamin D3. So we need to make sure that we’re in the right range.
That’s the supplements! On to the next…
Vitamin D from food
The last one is food. Now as much as I love to promote the food… There’s not much availability of vitamin D in our food. The ones that are higher are things like egg yolks, oily fish, liver and red meats. These tend to be the main ones.
Vitamin D Boosting Foods
- Egg yolks
- Oily fish
- Red Meats
So, as I said the main thing to think is “try to get your body in the sun as much as possible” within reason. Definitely don’t burn and look after your skin. The other thing is, if you are going to get a supplement, which often people do, then if you feel that you might be low, get a blood test to be sure you’re not in a normal range already.
There it is, Vitamin D and it’s benefits. We hope this has inspired you to keep an eye on your vitamin D levels, and book a cheeky winter getaway to somewhere sunny 😉
For more information on how our treatments can help to you with vitamin D, please contact a member of the Active Health Clinics team on 01628 626565.