Love it or hate it, winter is now upon us in the UK and the seasons have truly changed. The nights draw in quickly, the temperature has dropped noticeably and the whole feel of your day to day will inevitably change somewhat with the arrival of winter. One likely change is that you are finding yourself spending less and less time out and about. Less sunshine and more time indoors can impact your physical and mental state. The ‘winter blues’ are not fun for anybody, but fortunately there are a few things you can do to alleviate any symptoms.
One of the biggest is upping your Vitamin D intake. Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, Vitamin D can help bring a number of health benefits across a range of areas in your life. In our latest blog, we take a look at why now is the time of year to start taking Vitamin D, and some of the benefits of doing so. Read on to find out more.
What is Vitamin D?
Technically speaking, Vitamin D is a group of secosteroids that are fat-soluble. Its primary capability is to help increase your body’s ability to absorb calcium, magnesium and phosphate.
Vitamin D is essential and you need it, but the issue of getting into your system is directly compounded by winter. This is because the major natural source of Vitamin D is via the sun’s rays. UVB radiation is how we get the bulk of our Vitamin D from sunlight. So when the winter gets here and we find ourselves not only being outside less and less, but also the weather often not being as kind and sunny as the summer months, we can be lacking the right amounts of Vitamin D. Why is Vitamin D important? Why so important? Because Vitamin D plays a number of roles in your body’s system and a lack of it will heighten the risk of certain unwanted conditions or symptoms flaring up.
Having the optimal levels of Vitamin D in your body can help you in a number of important ways.
The first is to do with your bone health, and the link between calcium and Vitamin D helps strengthen your bones and prevent softening and other unwanted and potentially very problematic issues. Perhaps the most important role Vitamin D can play over the course of the dark and bleak winter months is helping you boost your immune system and avoid nasty colds and flus. We all have had a horrible winter cold before, and perhaps most frustratingly over winter the symptoms and side effects can really linger and niggle away at us. Having ample Vitamin D in your system can help you fight the bacteria and viruses that lead to such grim illnesses, which often seem to rear their ugly head in the winter months.
There’s also research to suggest that Vitamin D in good levels can help lower the risk of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
It’s also really important for young children to get enough Vitamin D. Low Vitamin D levels have been associated with conditions such as asthma and eczema. All in all, having the right amount of Vitamin D in your body can help bring a host of both short term and long term health benefits. But if you have any concerns about anything in particular, we would advise seeking professional medical advice.
What can happen with a Vitamin D deficiency?
The difficult thing with Vitamin D is the general reliance on sun exposure to provide it. Of all the things we can control in our world today, the weather just isn’t one of them.
But generally speaking, the lack of direct sunshine we get during the winter months can cause our Vitamin D levels to plummet to potentially problematic levels. If you are suffering from a lack of Vitamin D, there can be a number of effects that you may notice and can have a negative impact on your day to day. A prominent and frustrating one is less ability to fight off illnesses. So if you regularly find yourself having a touch of the sniffles or feeling under the weather, or perhaps more serious medical conditions, this could be due to a Vitamin D deficiency. Equally, if you regularly feel tired and just not with it, that could be a sign that your Vitamin D levels aren’t what they could be.
Generally achiness, longer time for wounds to heal, and chronic pain are all common signs of Vitamin D deficiency.
And there are some more startling symptoms linked with Vitamin D deficiency. These include depression and hair loss. There are also certain groups of people who are more susceptible to having low Vitamin D levels. These include elderly people, people who are overweight, or people living in areas that don’t get much sunlight, i.e. a long way from the equator. Even in the UK, those living in the north of Scotland will get significantly less sunlight in the winter months than those in the south of England. So if you fall into any of these categories, it may be worth reading the next section carefully.
How can you get more Vitamin D?
While the winter months do limit the amount of sunshine we can expose ourselves to, not every day in the winter is grim and horrible.
So when you do get a beautiful sunny winter’s day, make the most of it! Get out and take a walk or do some exercise and embrace the sun.
There are some foods that provide Vitamin D, such as fatty fish like tuna and mackerel. You can also get Vitamin D from foods including cheese and beef liver, as well as eggs.
One of the best ways to ensure that you get the right amount of Vitamin D is by taking supplements. That way you can help boost your immune system, feel better within yourself and enjoy the benefits of Vitamin D.
Evolution Organics’ selection of Vitamin D supplements
If supplementing is the route you choose to go down, it’s important to have a range of excellent Vitamin D products to choose from.
That’s exactly what Evolution Organics offers, with a wide choice of top quality vitamin supplements available to browse. Our range contains a host of Vitamin D supplements that can bring you the effects of the sunshine vitamin all year round. You can find supplements from the likes of BetterYou, Terranova Nutrition, Nutri Advanced, Natural Stacks, LipoLife and many more. If you have any questions about any of our products, simply get in touch.