While I’m sat here in my office overlooking Cariblue Beach, it has suddenly dawned on me the importance of sunshine in optimal health and wellbeing. I’m sure we can all agree that it certainly lifts the spirits; everyone seems in a much better mood when the sun is shining. But what role does it play in keeping our bodies healthy?
Over the past couple of years there has been a huge increase in studies looking at Vitamin D after research showed a rise in deficiency. The major source of natural vitamin D is the sun, so with a lack of sunshine due to long harsh winters, the modern “office job” lifestyle limiting our time outdoors and the use of high factor sun screens, the skins ability to make vitamin D is drastically reduced. What does this mean in relation to our health?
Its commonly know that vitamin D is important for bone health, but this further research has shown that in fact vitamin D is a micronutrient essential to human survival, playing a role in proper immune function and reducing the risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
So what can you do if your only time in the sun is your annual vacation?
- Firstly try and get outside when you can! I see it on a daily basis people walking on treadmills and doing exercises in the gym that really can be done outdoors, even plan to get off the tube one stop earlier and walk the rest of your commute when the sun is shining (however limited the summer months are!!).
- Include fatty fish in your diet! It’s a source of vitamin D plus you’ll get the additional benefits of the omega 3 content for heart health and glowing skin!
- Referring back to my eggs-cellent blog! Eat the yolks not just egg white, that’s where the vitamin D is!
- Take a supplement! Vitamin D supplementation has shown to bring a range of health benefits, but get your levels tested with your GP first.
And of course, come and visit us here at the bodyholiday more often, we’ve got the sunshine all year around!!
For more personalised life changing advice when you are with us see Rachel, our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant.