The nights are drawing in, the leaves are falling from the trees and the heating is being switched on because Autumn is well and truly here.
The lack of sunshine (as well as affecting some of our moods), also affects our Vitamin D levels because Vitamin D is created from direct sunlight on our skin (as well as being found in food and supplements). Now some of us are deficient in Vitamin D anyway, but between October and April it’s pretty much agreed that none of us will get enough Vitamin D from sunlight and so our diet becomes even more important.
Great dietary sources of Vitamin D are:
- oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring, tuna and mackerel or cod liver oil
- red meat
- shitake mushrooms
- fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals (check the packets for more detail though)
And you can supplement it, as I do, with simple oral sprays like this one. (As always please consult your GP or nutritionist if you’re unsure or need advice.)
Vitamin D is important for the health of our bones, teeth and muscles because it regulates the amount of calcium in the body.
Low Vitamin D levels are also linked with many other metabolic dysfunctions including:
- an increased risk of developing Gestational Diabetes
- poor auto-immune function
- poor cognitive function
- a predisposition to developing cancer
And interestingly, in 2010, there was a study which linked Vitamin D deficiency to pelvic floor dysfunction and conversely an increase in Vitamin D supplementation to an increase in continence.
So whichever way you look at it, making sure there’s enough Vitamin D in your diet or supplementation is key this time of year!