Vitamin D has an important part to play when looking after our body, mind and soul. It’s not just integral to many vital body functions – including the absorption of calcium to aid bone health – it directly impacts our mood.
Vitamin D deficiency and depression have a strong association, with the levels of mood-boosting serotonin influenced by vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency leaves sufferers feeling anxious, tired and irritable. It can also result in muscle cramps, joint pain, brittle bones, and poor immunity.
In this blog post, we share five easy ways to get more vitamin D in your life to keep those winter blues at bay and boost your mood all-year round.
1. Head outdoors
Unfortunately, winter sunlight doesn’t contain enough of the UVB radiation that the skin needs to make vitamin D, which makes steps 2 to 5 more important at this time of year. When spring comes along however, heading outdoors as much as possible will make a real difference to vitamin D levels and your mood.
Daily exposure, particularly between 11am and 3pm, uncovered and without sunscreen will help you make vitamin D. Those with darker skin will need more time in the sun, while practicing good sun safety is vital.
2. Take a supplement
Most will begin to feel the effects of the vitamin D supplement almost right away as Livestrong details:
“The National Institutes of Health states that the more depleted you are, the longer it takes for changes to occur. An article in the September 2016 issue of the Journal of Oncology Practice says that, generally, after a few weeks of treatment, vitamin D levels will increase at 1 ng/mL for every 40 IU taken. You should start feeling better once the vitamin D kicks in, but you should still have your levels checked every two to three months.”
3. Go fortified with food
Infant formula is also fortified meaning babies who drink more than 500ml of formula per day, do not need to take a vitamin D supplement.
4. Eat more fish
Great in salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes, protein, omega 3, iron and vitamin enriched sardines are versatile ingredients that can be used at breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. For the ultimate vitamin D hit, try our recipe for sardine pate.
5. Include eggs in your diet
Eggs are great ingredients when cooking quick and healthy meals that are made for weeknights. For more inspiration, check out these great recipes.