What’s all the fuss about Vitamin D?
We have all heard about the importance Vitamin D but how much do we really know?
As the cold, dark nights set in here in the UK it is a known fact that with that comes a dip in our overall mood. This dip in our mood is largely influenced by lack of sunlight. Lack of sunlight disrupts our bodies internal clock, reduces serotonin productivity and production of melatonin. These disruptions cause feelings of depression, increased tiredness, affected sleep pattern and appetite.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a vitamin which regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. It helps maintain a strong immune system, supports our mood and keeps bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
Where can we find it?
Unfortunately, unlike other Vitamins, Vitamin D is only available to us 10% by diet. The further 90% of our Vitamin D comes from UVB rays, which during winter time is virtually impossible to achieve. Even during our Sumer months, with the use of sun cream restricting the amount of UVB we absorb and time spent indoors, it isn’t always achievable to reach our optimal levels.
Due to the population only getting 10% of Vitamin D from their diet and 90% through direct sunlight, supplementation is strongly advised by Health Experts to achieve optimal levels. Public Health England recommends taking a supplementation during Autumn and Winter months of 10mcg. For those who spend a lot of time indoors throughout the year, it is advisable that these individuals supplement throughout the year, also with a daily 10mcg supplement.
Types of Supplementation.
Supplements are available by either a Vitamin D3 pill or an Oral Spray. Vitamin D is a fat soluble Vitamin therefore an Oral Spray is a preferred method as it absorbed directly into the blood stream via the inner cheek. This quick absorption means your body is able to benefit from it sooner.
Vitamin D supplementation is just one way you can stay healthy this Winter. An active lifestyle, stress management and adequate nutrition are all other ways you can stay healthy this Winter, and all year around.
Vegan food sources for Vitamin D include:
- Breakfast cereals
- Plant based milks (look for added Vitamin D)
- Soy products (yoghurts, drinks)
- Some mushroom varieties
But remember, only 10% comes from food so supplementing is still crucial! Focus also on getting enough calcium rich food in your diet to aid in bone health.