It will come as no surprise to you that a large proportion of the UK population is deficient in vitamin D, around a fifth of us to be precise. By mid-spring you'd expect that we'd be having plenty of sunshine, but it doesn't seem like that's the case this year. Lets hope June brings with it some better weather! Despite the many risks associated with excess sun exposure, a little sun on the skin each day is a fantastic way to boost vitamin D levels. We preach about the benefits of vitamin D a lot, but here are some vit D facts you may not know.
We are actually able to store vitamin D for months
Our bodies are designed to store up vitamin D levels so that we have enough to survive the darker winter months. However, there is a slight flaw as this is based on that fact that we absorb sufficient levels of UVB rays throughout the summer months for the skin to synthesize to vitamin D. If you're not lucky enough to jet off, the British summertime alone is unlikely enough to get you through the rest of the year.
A little fat goes a long way
Fear not, a plate of chicken and veg doesn't need to be so bland, especially seeing as though fats help the body to absorb vitamin D more efficiently. Adding extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or pine nuts to a humble plate of veg helps the body to get the most benefits from the vitamins A, D, E and K found in your greens. Plus, a little extra flavour makes it easier to get through more of the good stuff.
We are one of the few countries that don't supplement our food
Other nations that lack in sunnier times supplements food at the source to ensure the population's intake is sufficient. For example, in Canada it is compulsory for the dairy industry to fortify milk with vitamin D.
Those living in the city are getting less
There are many benefits to living in the city (hello Deliveroo) but not so many that contribute to better health (again, I'm looking at you Deliveroo). Tall building creating shade and high pollution levels block much of the vitamin D we could be getting from reaching us. Plus, it's more likely that you spend your daylight hours working indoors, in an office, shop, etc.
It's possible to get too much of a good thing
Yes, we could all do with topping up our vitamin levels, but everything in moderation. The NHS advise that taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long period of time can cause calcium to be removed from bones, causing them to soften and weaken. Always stick to the recommended daily dose of your vit D, be that from your healthcare practitioner or the product manufacturer.Written for you by:
Ellie, Face the Future