Winter means our skin is not often exposed to direct sunlight and in order for us to really reap the benefits of Vitamin D, our skin needs direct contact with sunlight. Only five percent of the UVB rays needed for Vitamin D production can get through glass, with us needing around 30 minutes a day, combined with exercise, in order for the benefits of Vitamin D to be felt.
DO I LACK VITAMIN D?
The answer depends on a number of things; however, if one or more of the symptoms below resonate with you, then the tips in the next paragraph are helpful in increasing your Vitamin D levels.
- Significant changes in your mood during winter that result in sleeping problems, lethargy, overeating, social withdrawal, anxiety and a loss of libido
- An increase in illness or infection
- If you suffer from arthritis or osteoporosis
- Tooth decay
- Hair Loss
- Muscle twitching or spasms
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Weak bones
For a full understanding about which vitamins you may be lacking in, be sure to check yourself using the Optimum Nutrition Questionnaire in Patrick Holford’s New Optimum Nutrition Bible.
TIPS TO BRIGHTEN UP YOUR DAY
- While sunlight is great way to produce Vitamin D, we can’t forget about the dangers it poses to our skin. Here are a few ways that you can increase your Vitamin D levels for a healthier, happier YOU:If you are going to let your skin do the work for you, make sure you limit your time in the sun to half the amount of time that it takes you to tan and avoid sunlight during the hottest times of the day.
- Change the lighting in your home spaces to ‘full-spectrum’ lighting – bulbs that are similar to sunlight. While more expensive to buy initially, they last ten times longer and use a quarter of the electricity that a normal bulb would.
- You can also get more Vitamin D from oily fish, eggs and milk – herrings, mackerel, salmon, oysters and cottage cheese are some of the best food sources. Avoid fried foods as they use up too much of the Vitamin D you produce.
- It is always a good idea to supplement your Vitamin D intake with a good multivitamin such as Patrick’s 100% Health Pack, particularly if you have intolerances or allergies to certain foods.