SUNSHINE AND VITAMIN D
I am loving the roses in my garden and they are loving the sunshine!!!
And sunshine is the catalyst for your body to make Vitamin D, one of the only vitamins which your body can actually make by itself. (Actually Vitamin D is a pro hormone rather than a Vitamin!) So while this good weather is here, make sure you try and get out in the sunshine (with no sun screen) and expose your hands, arms and face for approximately 15 minutes a day. (Obviously be sensible, you definitely do not want to get burnt!!).
Vitamin D is so important for many functions in the body – the body needs Vitamin D to enable calcium uptake which makes it essential for maintaining bone density and therefore the health of your bones.
Vitamin D also has a role in immune system health so if you are constantly getting colds and viruses and feeling generally exhausted, it is well worth asking your doctor to check your Vitamin D levels. In Ireland normally we don’t get a lot of sunshine, so it is easy for your levels to be low especially over a long dark winter. Vitamin D is stored in your liver and fatty tissues providing a source of Vitamin D over the winter months. However, if your diet does not include foods rich in Vitamin D and you don’t get enough sun exposure during the Spring and Summer months, you might find that your stores are depleted.
In studies Vitamin D has been shown to have positive effects on heart health, arthritis, mental agility, dental health, risks of developing diabetes type 2, asthma and even cancer prevention as it is extremely important for regulating cell growth.
You can obtain Vitamin D through your diet, and oily fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel and fresh tuna are good sources. Other foods with small amounts of vitamin D include egg yolks, beef and butter.