As the leaves begin changing and the days begin to get shorter, it’s the most important time of year to be focusing on your health. We’ve been hosting masterclasses with expert nutritionist and lifestyle guru Amanda Hamilton, and she’s given us a great insight into just how much impacts your health and immune system.
We all love the sunshine – it’s why so many of us love to go on our summer holidays and relax by the pool or at the beach! Sunny weather tends to make you feel happy and energetic, and you spend as much time out and about as possible! But did you know that the sun is actually integral to our health?
Whilst it’s important to keep our skin protected with SPF, the sun triggers a response in our body that creates Vitamin D and it’s essential for the healthy functioning of your body. So we’ve looked into it a bit more and found out 6 benefits of Vitamin D which might surprise you!
1. Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body
This means that Vitamin D helps to keep your bones, teeth and muscles healthy! By making sure you get enough Vitamin D, your body will protect you from bone deformities such as soft bones in children or fragile misshapen bones in adults.
2. You can get Vitamin D from your diet – which is especially important in the winter!
We all know you can get Vitamin D from sunshine, but did you know Vitamin D is also in oily fish, red meat, and egg yolks. During the autumn and winter, it’s particularly important to get Vitamin D from your diet because the sun isn’t strong enough for the body to produce it.
The Mediterranean diet is perfectly suited for this, especially with its focus on seasonal and local ingredients! Join an online cooking class to learn how to create delicious, healthy Italian meals with our chefs!
3. It’s not actually a vitamin…
A vitamin is a nutrient your body cannot produce, so you must consume them in your diet. But Vitamin D is actually a prohormone and is created by your body as a response to sun exposure.
4. You can’t overdose on Vitamin D from sunshine, but you can from supplements
Whilst too much sunshine can lead to negative side effects – such as sunburn or skin damage – it can’t lead to too much Vitamin D. Taking too many supplements over a long period of time, however, can cause too much calcium to build up in the body. This can cause issues with your bones, kidneys and heart. So make sure to protect your skin if you’re out in the sun for long periods and to only take the recommended dosage of supplements.
5. It’s known to reduce depression
Research has shown that Vitamin D can regulate your mood and even ward off depression When your body is producing less Vitamin D, it’s been found that you are more likely to suffer with symptoms of depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder. So by making sure your body has enough Vitamin D, through time spent outside and a healthy diet, you’re also supporting your mental wellbeing.
6. It can help to support your immune system
It’s been found in some research that Vitamin D can decrease your chance of heart disease, and help to reduce your likelihood of developing a respiratory illness. It even supports the immune system by fighting off harmful bacteria and viruses.
Making sure your body receives the right nutrients is integral to your overall health. By consuming a varied healthy diet, spending time outside and focusing on your own wellbeing, you’re setting yourself up for success!