Doesn’t all of this fabulous sunshine bring a smile to your face? As well as making us feel good on the outside, the sun has a very important role to play on the inside; as it’s the primary source of Vitamin D. But as we all worry about the harmful effects of sun exposure, many of us are deficient in this essential vitamin, as we cover ourselves in sunscreen, or head straight for the shade as soon as the temperatures rise. It is possible to safely top up our Vitamin D levels, whilst making the most of this great British summer. Here’s what you need to know.
The sunshine vitamin
Vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone (a steroid that acts as a hormone), produced from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to the sun; hence its name, the sunshine vitamin. It is fat soluble and can be stored in the body for up to three months, so topping up your supplies in the summer, should set you up for winter.
Two main forms of Vitamin D can also be sourced from your diet. One of the most important is Vitamin D3, which you’ll find in oily fish and egg yolk; Vitamin D3 is present in some mushrooms.
So what does it actually do?
Once in your system, Vitamin D has a bit of work to do, to make it useful. Firstly, it needs to be converted by the liver and the kidneys, before travelling around the body to work its magic on almost every cell; promoting good bone health, a well-functioning immune system and vital protection against cancer.
Know when you’re deficient
Vitamin D is incredibly important for your overall health; signs of a deficiency are usually subtle and may take years to surface. If you suffer from back pain, excessive sweating or are generally feeling blue, these could be early signs, so it’s important to take a Vitamin D supplement.
Kath’s tips for topping up your Vitamin D levels
- Try and make the most of the sunshine and sit outside around midday, when the sun is at its highest. Set a timer, starting at 10 minutes and gradually increase this each day, to a maximum of 30 minutes; then cover up, find some shade or go inside, making sure you don’t burn.
- Build up your Vitamin D supplies as much as you can, break from work and take your lunch outside or read a book at weekends; a beach holiday is the perfect opportunity to get stocked up.
- Once the clocks go back in October start supplementing with Vitamin D3 http://kathgriffin.eu.nspshop.com/vitamin_d
- Eat plenty of oily fish and eggs.
- Magnesium and Vitamin K2 will also boost your Vitamin D levels.