05 Jun Shine brightly by boosting your health with vitamin D in the summer sun
When the sun shines brightly this summer it presents the perfect time to give your body and mind what it needs by topping up on Vitamin D.
A lot has been said about the benefits of getting enough vitamin D over the past year and it really is important to our health. Your body does an amazing job but sometimes it needs a little extra help – and what is easier than getting outdoors for a short while?
Vitamin D is a special vitamin because you make it rather than rely on taking it. However, as we need the sun on our skin to create vitamin D many people, especially in the winter months, find themselves deficient in it. When you feel the warmth of the sun on your skin the UVB rays, if strong enough, turn the cholesterol in your skin’s cells into vitamin D. It’s like magic!
“Ô, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.” Roman Payne
Stay healthy with vitamin D
That vitamin D then goes off around your body to perform many other wonders:
- It keeps bones strong and healthy by telling cells in your gut to absorb calcium and phosphorus
- It is reported to help boost your immune system to fight off germs and diseases
- It is even claimed it can boost your mood
- Vitamin D has even been associated with weight loss
If vitamin D is boosting your immune system, then it will be working to make you more resilient and healthier, helping you to feel better instead of stressed.
If you don’t get enough vitamin D it can make you more prone to infections, such as coughs, colds and tummy bugs. If your immune system is low, you are also more prone to tiredness and fatigue.
Weaker bones not supported by the right vitamins and nutrients are more likely to break or cause issues such as back pain. If your body isn’t functioning properly it takes longer to recover and makes you more susceptible to muscle pain and depression.
“A fit, healthy body—that is the best fashion statement.” Jess C Scott
Do you feel better when the sun is out?
Could the impact of the sun on your body through the generation of vitamin D be the reason that people feel better when the sun is out? However, it is only the sun that creates vitamin D, so you really do need to get outside. Sunbeds do not make vitamin D.
The best time to absorb the rays of the sun is around noon, when the sun is at its strongest, so obviously there is a delicate balancing act between getting your vitamin D and staying safe in the sun. It is suggested that half an hour in the sun, three times per week will keep your vitamin D topped up.
To stay safe in the sun if it is a blazing hot day, choose to go out early for between 10 and 30 minutes before returning indoors to apply sunscreen. You do need to enjoy the sun on your skin without sunblock to get the vitamin D but make sure to apply it afterwards.
“The first wealth is health.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Food to support vitamin D in the winter
Sun, however, can be in short supply in the winter months so choose your food wisely to keep your vitamin D levels up. Here are a few foods that will support you in staying healthy by boosting your vitamin D:
- Salmon – One serving a day should give you about a third of what you need for that day
- Herrings and sardines will give you a quarter to a third of your daily amount
- Cod liver oil is a great source of vitamin D, including the more palatable capsules
- Tinned or fresh tuna will give you a third of your daily intake
- Egg yolks contain a small amount of vitamin D
- Mushrooms are the only good source of vitamin D from a plant
Food products are also available that have had vitamin D added to them, such as milk, juice and cereal.
Alternatively, you can boost your vitamin D with a supplement. Most people need between 800 to 1000 international units (IU), the equivalent to 20-25 micrograms.
“Respect your body. Eat well. Dance forever.” Eliza Gaynor Minden
Choose the life you want to lead
Give your body what it needs to shine brightly by taking the time to look after yourself. If you think you could do a with a feel-good boost today step out into the sunshine for 30 minutes – your body will thank you. Just make sure you stay safe.
If you’ve got any tips on boosting your health naturally or on other sources of vitamin D, share them with us in the comments or find us on social media:
Self-care should be a priority for everyone, as if you feel better about yourself, you will feel better about the world around you and bring that glow to others.