There has been talk in the news about starting to introduce Vitamin D into our diets (if we haven’t already) to reduce the possibility of contracting Corona Virus.
Come the bleak midwinter, many of us yearn for the feeling of sun on our skin however with the pandemic we are all currently facing, unless we live in more tropical climates, it is rare to see the sparkle of sun quite as often as we would like to. Sunshine lifts our mood, which is great for mental health however more importantly it is about how we get the crucial nutrient it provides into our bodies.
Vitamin D is naturally created by our bodies when exposed to ultraviolet or UVB rays from the sun although, unfortunately, many of us aren’t getting enough!
WHY DO WE NEED IT?
Vitamin D has several important functions. Perhaps the most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and facilitation normal immune system function. Also if your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, you’re at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as soft (osteomalacia) or fragile bones (osteoporosis) which can also sap your muscle strength, making even carrying or lifting shopping bags a chore!
Vitamin D can also help reduce stress as well as reduce tiredness and I’m sure during these challenging times, we could all use with extra feel good factors!
Doctors can detect if you are deficient by taking your blood so if you are worried about this, please seek further medical attention.
FOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN D
Few foods contain vitamin D naturally. Because of this, some foods are fortified. This means that vitamin D has been added.
Foods that contain vitamin D include:
- plant-based milks (fortified)
- cereal (fortified)
- plant-based yogurt (fortified)
- orange juice (fortified)
- fruits & vegetables (see below)
It can be hard to get enough vitamin D each day through sun exposure and food alone, so taking vitamin D supplements can help. Speak your local and independent health food shop expert to find out which supplements are best! In Bedford, UK, we have 2 wonderful local and independent health food shops with really helpful experts who run them.
HOW TO BOOST YOUR MOOD NATURALLY
Ensure you eat the right foods which gives your body the right balance in nutrients as they can trigger “feel good” neurotransmitters in the brain and positively boost our mood. Some top foods to recommend are: strawberries, sweet potatoes, walnuts, mushrooms, spinach.
Get out in nature: whether you for for a walk or run, being outdoors in fresh air, among trees (green) and water (lakes, rivers, ponds) can really help boost your mood.
Drink enough water to keep your body hydrated as when we become de-hydrated, the body can become tired and therefore cranky!
Enjoy natural plants around the home. These not only brighten up your home/office surroundings, they also can help oxygenate your environment.
Lighting: having the right lighting in your home has been proven to maximise your feel good factor. It can improve mood and stabilise our circadian rhythms, helping us get a better and deeper nights sleep. Psychologically, light can decrease depression and even increase cognitive performance such as reaction time and activation.
Watch a feel good comedy. Laughing or watching something positive can certainly lift your energy and mood as well as give you inspiration.
Hobby: do something you love whether it be drawing/painting, sewing/knitting, writing, reading, cooking, baking etc.