The beautiful spring sunshine and the approach of the equinox on Sunday has got me thinking about vitamin D. Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because we make it when sunlight hits our skin.
In the UK because of our northerly position and the cold weather (which keeps us covered in woolly clothes for much of the year) we might not get enough sun exposure and many people are deficient in this vitamin which is essential for bone health, the correct functioning of the immune system and heart health. Vitamin D levels are often at their lowest at this time of year as any sun we do see in the winter isn’t strong enough to activate the skin mechanisms involved.
It's difficult to get enough vitamin D from diet alone as it is in a limited number of foods, notably oily fish, eggs and mushrooms. Which is why sun exposure in the warmer months is important to keep your levels topped up. So now we are into spring and there is warmth back again, getting some vitamin D from the sun is possible again.
This weekend is the perfect opportunity to get out into the sun and start to make a difference to your vitamin D levels. If you are unsure of your levels it is quick and easy to check it through a blood test, then you will know if and how much supplementation is required, in addition to safely getting some sunshine. So by being outside, whether it is reading in the garden, taking the dog for a walk or doing some gardening you can be improving your health as well as taking a moment for yourself.