Winter’s on the horizon and the nights are drawing in, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give your mind and body a boost of sunshine! With research increasingly recognising the positive role vitamin D plays in our immune system, there’s even more reason to get ahead of the flu season and give the winter blues the cold shoulder with these useful hints and tips.
Feeling SAD? Grab a dose of Vitamin D.
The winter months leave us short of vitamin D, the so-called ‘sunshine’ vitamin with immunity and mood-boosting benefits. In fact, in Britain up to 25% of us are short of this essential vitamin all year round because we simply don’t see enough of the sun! Medical science now acknowledges SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) as a serious slump in spirits during the winter period, but with a multitude of health options claiming to be able to turn that frown upside down, it can be tough to know which one to choose! So what are the best ways for you to get that essential dose of vitamin D-light?
Put the D Back Into Your Diet
It’s important to think about just what we’re putting into our bodies and how our diet will affect our health and wellbeing. Vitamin D rich foods can help protect against multiple diseases including heart disease, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. What’s more, vitamin D is the perfect complementary vitamin to calcium! It supports calcium absorption to promote the maintenance of healthy bones, teeth and muscle function, so you can keep the sunshine in your smile even in the winter months!If you’ve been chained to your desk and need some brain TLC, oily fish rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids is said to be a powerful mood food which can improve brain function. And there are plenty more health heroes which will help you to thaw out the frosty winter blues. Let’s look at the key players:
|Popular Foods rich in Vitamin D|
|Oily Fish (trout, smoked salmon, swordfish, mackerel)|
|Fortified cereals (wholegrain)|
|Dairy products (cheese, milk, low-fat yoghurt)|
|Dairy alternatives (Plain soy yoghurt)|
However, while it’s possible to eat a diet rich in vitamin D, very few of us would be capable of eating enough fish and eggs to make up the shortfall in winter. Plus, the cold weather makes foods that warm those inner cockles so appealing that we’re likely to overdo it on the carbohydrates and sugars – after all, who really fancies a salad when you’ve just finished dusting the snow from your winter boots? But this choice leaves us short changed. Not only do we miss out on the essential vitamins and minerals from wholesome fresh fruit and veg; we also use up our vitamin B stores to convert the carbs into energy, and B vitamins have a well-established role in improving mood!Unsurprisingly, easy-to-use, transportable health supplements are becoming increasingly popular!