Summer is here, on and off, so I thought it was time for a few facts about Vitamin D and the sunshine!
You've probably heard about Vitamin D and it being something to do with the sun but possibly not sure what the connection is and what it means.
Vitamin D has many functions in the body such as helping form strong bones and teeth (a lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities in children known as rickets.) It also appears to protect against cancer and MS and is needed for calcium and phosphorus absorption.
The body creates Vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors, so between April to October in the UK most people should be able to get all their Vitamin D from sunlight. It is not known exactly how long you need to spend in direct sunlight to get enough Vitamin D as it varies depending on skin colour and how much skin you have exposed. However, don't forget, the longer you spend in direct sunlight, the higher your risk of developing skin cancer.
Between October and March in the UK we don't get enough Vitamin D from sunlight so have to get it form other sources.
During this time we get our Vitamin D from pastured whole eggs, liver, seafood, fortified foods and cod liver oil. Another source is supplements and this is recommended for some people including young infants and children and minority ethnic groups with dark skin.
However taking too many of these supplements over time can have a counterintuitive effect. For most people 10mcg is enough, but if too much is taken, calcium can start to build up in the body (hypercalcaemia) which can weaken bones and damage the kidneys and heart. Remember, always consult your doctor before taking supplements as it may not be suitable for some people.
Vitamin D has even been shown to help regulate moods and those with a Vitamin D deficiency as twice as likely to suffer depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who took these supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms.
I hope you've found this interesting, learned something new and don't forget to come back again soon for more informative blog posts.
If you're interested in personal training with a Level 3 PT with Nutritional Advisor qualifications, then get in touch on the contact page above and we can start your journey together!
At the moment I am loving all the delicious fresh fruit and refreshing salads so I thought I'd write a blog about the benefits of it!
Fruits are a naturally occurring 'simple unrefined carbohydrate'. They contain fructose and glucose (sugar), vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, high levels of dietary fibre and are also relatively cheap and convenient!
Fibre comes in two forms, insoluble and soluble. Most fruits are in the form of insoluable non-starch polysaccharides (fibre). Fibre doesn't actually provide any energy for the body, but instead its role is to aid in transportation of food through the digestive tract.
Most of the vitamins found in fruits are Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin C. The first works to promote healthy nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver and muscle mass as well as regulating metabolism, preventing fatigue and maintaining fertility. The latter supports the immune system, helps in the healing of wounds, aids tissue growth and repair as well as the formation of collagen and connective tissue, strengthens capillary walls and is a powerful antioxidant.
The energy in foods can't be released without certain vitamins and when it comes to carbohydrates, B vitamins are the most important as without them we couldn't utilise that energy!
The one thing to bare in mind when eating more fruit, especially if your goal is weight loss, is that it has a high sugar content, however, don't let this stop you increasing your fruit intake. There are some ways of reducing this by making different choices, for example, some research shows that green apples contain less sugar and more fibre than red apples. If you're currently eating a lot of 'refined simple carbohydrates', or processed foods, such as biscuits, cakes, confectionary and soft drinks, then a swap for fruit will be greatly beneficial as you'll now be getting all the vitamins and minerals that you wont get in the processed foods!
Extra: Keep in mind that when consuming processed foods that aren't nutrient-dense, we are taking on that energy without the vitamins to utilise the energy in them! This type of food is sometimes referred to as the 'anti-nutritent'.
I hope this has been informative and shown you the wonderful benefits of eating fresh, natural, fruit and vegetables! As always if you have any questions please comment below, and if you're interested in personal training then get in contact on the 'contact' page!