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Getting enough of the sunshine vitamin?

Vitamin D, or the ‘sunshine vitamin’, is the vitamin that’s ‘in’ this summer. Honey, it’s not just a new pair of sunglasses that you need to be worried about this season, it’s all about topping up those nutrients levels. So, if we’re getting on this vitamin hype we want a little more info.

What does it do?

It helps keep our calcium and phosphate in check. The powerful trio of vit D, calcium, and phosphate work to keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy. This is particularly important for females who are more at risk of osteoporosis in their later years.

What happens when we don’t get enough?

Low vitamin D levels are very common amongst our population. The NHS predicts that 1 in 5 of us aren’t getting enough of the sunshine vitamin. Low amounts of the vitamin often lead to low mood, mild to severe joint pain, headaches and in more severe cases diarrhoea. It might be the sunshine vitamin but the effects without it aren’t so sunny.

How do I get this wonder vit?

The best source of Vitamin D is from sunlight. In England, from late March to the end of September most people should be able to get their fair share of it from sunlight. Our bodies create the vitamin from direct sunlight on the skin. But don’t think that shuffling your desk closer to the window is going to do the trick; UVB rays (the things we need for vit D) don’t pass through glass.

Let’s face it, this is England so we can’t always rely on the sunshine. You can also top up your vitamin D levels from oily fish, red meat and eggs. Plant-based? Add fortified foods such as cereals, nut milks and fat spreads to your shopping list. All this considered, it is advised that most adults take a vit D supplement of 10mcg during the winter months to top-up our levels when the sun is, well, nonexistent.

Ever just feel like you’re just not your happiest self during the chilly season? Fear not! It might just be your vitamin D levels plummeting. It even has its own aptly named title ‘SAD’ or Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is why it’s also super important to top up our vitamin D while we can during the summer. The NHS advises that people with darker skin take a daily vit D supplement of 10mcg  all year round.

If you’re off out sunning yourself as we speak, remember sun protection is still important for skin health so be sure to slap on that SPF. Read which SPF’s beauty bloggers are rating the best this summer.