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I am solar powered. I know I am. The sun came out the other day and I ditched my mountain of work, sprawled out on a blanket in just my pants and enjoyed it. Heaven. Spring is coming and I am so ready for it. The sun makes me feel energised, light and happy and it's magic vitamin D that I have to thank.
Ah vitamin D. You’ve become quite a celebrity recently. You seem to be in every health story I read. The majority of the vitamin D created in our bodies comes from exposure to sunlight and after years of slapping on the factor 50 and worrying about skin cancer, it would appear we have all become D deficient.
Vitamin D is vital for the health of the body and is responsible for healthy immune systems, regulating inflammation, serotonin production and calcium absorption. A deficiency in vitamin D can cause all kinds of problems including depression, bowel problems, skin conditions, diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis. And the press has been recently highlighting the link between vitamin D and Parkinson's, fertility issues, pregnancy problems, and rickets in kids, a disease that seems to be making a come back.
According to Medical News Today, we require ten to fifteen minutes of sun exposure at least twice a week on the face, arms, hands, or back without sunscreen. Sounds nice, but I reckon the last time most of us Brits had ten minutes sun exposure was last April, when we had that freak hot spell. That’s almost a year ago!
Not only do we not have sun in the country, we also live very sheltered lives - so even when the sun makes a rare appearance, we’re never out and about to enjoy it. We hibernate in our offices and houses, our gyms are indoors, our kids play on computers, our groceries are delivered to the door and our shops are in undercover shopping centres. We simply aren’t getting the sun exposure we need.
If we’re not getting enough sunny D, should we take a supplement? The NHS recommend the only people who need to take a vitamin D supplement are
That sounds like just about everyone to me! I recommend taking a natural, easily absorbed supplement such as Nature's Sunshine Vitamin D3. And the next time the sun pops out, do yourself a favour and spend ten minutes soaking it up…I recommend stripping off to your pants for best results.
Laura Knowles is a Nutritionist, Kinesiologist, and Yoga Teacher at the Balanced Wellness Clinic in Havant near Portsmouth. Loves blogging about the really important stuff - life, love, vitamins and poo.See my profile