Let’s talk about the sunshine vitamin – aka vitamin d ☀️
Summer already feels like a distant memory, replaced by dark skies and raindrops. During the changing of the seasons, it’s really common for people to start coming down with colds, flu and generally not feeling their best. But why is this?
Well, there are lots of reasons. But a big factor that we’re going to discuss today is Vitamin D.
Now technically Vitamin D is not a vitamin because we can make it ourselves – humans can synthesise it in the skin when we’re exposed to sunlight. For lots of people in the world, this is the main source of Vitamin D produced and no supplemental sources are necessary. In the Northern Hemisphere, we’re not so lucky.
The amount of sunshine we usually get between October and April, is not normally adequate for our Vitamin D needs.
So what Are some of the Symptoms of vitamin d insufficiency/deficiency?
- Weakened Immunity
- Low Mood
- Muscle Pain
- Slow wound healing
- Back/joint pain
Vitamin D is responsible for a vast array of different things in the body, which means not getting enough is quite a systemic issue.
It’s chief role is in the control of calcium homeostasis – Vitamin D ensures that we have the correct amount in our bones and in our circulatory system.
In addition, it is believed to regulate up to 1250 genes – from immune function, preventing auto-immune conditions, regulating gut function, anti-cancer and maintaining good blood sugar/insulin balance.
I think we can agree – this is quite important stuff?!
So as a vegan, what foods can you find Vitamin D in?
- Fortified Plant Milks
- Mushrooms (because they absorb the sunlight, how great is that?)
- A good quality supplement – see below.
It is advised that everyone in the UK takes a Vitamin D supplement between October – March to prevent a deficiency. This is because the sun is too weak between these months that we’re not able to synthesise Vitamin D through the skin.