The weather has been pretty cold recently and although I love winter, the lack of sunlight at this time of year is linked to Vitamin D deficiency, which may leave you feeling under the weather.
Unlike other vitamins, we get most of the Vitamin D we need from the sunlight. When our skin is exposed to sunlight, our bodies are able to produce Vitamin D due to a reaction that takes place beneath our skin. This means that most of us are able to produce all the Vitamin D we need during the spring and summer months. However, as the days get darker and more grey during the autumn and winter, up to 60% of the population in the UK may be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency.
So how can you tell if you are Vitamin D deficient? Well, there are a number of symptoms associated with this. These include fatigue and general weakness, muscle cramps and weakness, lower immunity, weight gain, mood changes and irritability, feelings of depression and joint pains, particularly in the back and knees. These symptoms are easily dismissed as everyday aches and pains, however they may also be due to Vitamin D deficiency.
If you think you may be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency, the good news is that there are several things you can do to increase the levels of Vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D supplements are readily available online from websites such as Nature's Best and from most pharmacies and supermarkets. These supplements can be taken during the darker, colder months and throughout the rest of the year if you generally have very little exposure to sunlight. You can also include more foods that are rich in Vitamin D in your diet, such as dairy products, fortified cereals, orange juice, eggs and oily fish.
Of course, another great way of increasing your Vitamin D levels is by enjoying some sun! What better excuse is there to book a last minute beach holiday!?