I was so, unbelievably, relieved when the sun came out for the first time, in what felt like months, on Saturday. I know that I get grumpier, less energetic and generally less nice when I’m vitamin D deprived, so this winter has been even worse than normal as it’s been my first winter working a full time job. Plenty of people suffer with Vitamin D deficiency; according to the ToneItUp girls (I read their blog post last Wednesday, when I still considered myself one of these sufferers) almost 50% of America’s population- I’m assuming they meant America- have a vitamin D deficiency. And that seems crazy to me given how sunny it seems to have been in places like LA and California this whole year- although many of us aren’t fortunate enough to live in perpetual summer, I would hazard a guess and say vitamin D deficiency is probably even more common in northern Europe.
I loved getting out and eating my lunch outside this weekend, cracking out my sunglasses, taking my coat and my cardigan off (woah now!) and cycling out to the fields to throw a Frisbee. It was actual heaven; the whole time all we could talk about was how much we’d missed the sunshine on our skin and hour much better life felt with this big lazy beach ball finally poking its head out from under the duvet. Getting high off being out in the sun is fantastic but what about those times when you can’t? For many of us spring is just teasing, and it may well be a good few months before the sun is here to stay, so I’ve set about researching how I can get this lovely bubbly vitamin into my diet…
– Salmon (yay): If you’re still living on a student budget like me then salmon is expensive and not exactly your most grabbed-for item. I also didn’t ‘like’ salmon until I re-tried it very recently and discovered my taste buds have changed a bit. It’s pretty yummy.
– Tuna & other tinned fatty fish: People tend to shy away from the word fatty, or oily for that matter, but chill- it’s good for you too. I’m pretty excited to know that tuna is on the list of vitamin D containing food stuffs since it is actually one of my most grabbed-for items. It’s not too expensive and it goes easily and quickly in salads and pasta.
– Egg yolk: True story, when I was little I would only eat the yolk of the egg not the white, because the texture of the white seemed gross to me; it’s funny what we put our parents through. So if you’re consuming eggs anyway for protein or yumminess then this is really handy- the egg is like a double whammy of goodness.
– I’ve found lots of information that says milk, fruit juices, cereal etc. in the US can all be purchased ‘fortified’, so with added goodness, and many of these contain vitamin D too. I don’t know how other countries fare with this but have a look round anyway. There are also supposed to be special mushrooms out there (yes, yes I know, not that kind) which are grown with ultraviolet light exposure so they produce vitamin D. I’ve never paid much attention to how my mushrooms are grown, but I will now.
If you are spending all day in an office like me, where maybe the blinds are even automated to come down to stop the building getting too hot (grr), then finding your daily vitamin D can be tricky even in summer. Maybe try some of these food tips, I know I will, and let me know how you feel? Maybe try walking or cycling to work- you know you want to!- or get off the bus a stop early; all the usual tips, even taking your coffee break outside, it’ll make sure you get the most of the available vitamin D. Sadly, through a window, there isn’t any vitamin D transfer.
Sadly the list isn’t very long, it seems quite difficult to get vitamin D without supplements, but if supplements are what’s needed then that’s just fine. I take Floradix multi-vitamin (when I remember) or Sainsburys Basic multi-vitamin- they all basically do the same job, it’s just that Mum always gave me Floradix as a kid to stop me getting ill or when I was just coming down with a cold, old habits eh? I have also previously taken cod liver oil tablets to deliver oil to my hair and skin, I had no idea they were dosing me with D too (tip: swallow nice and quickly, don’t chew). The positive thing on this list is that Vitamin D is supposed to be pretty robust so cooking it doesn’t really remove its nutritional value; I am a big fan of all things robust, I live the kind of life that requires robust things (furniture, trainers, food, household items in general, boyfriend…).
Are you missing the sun and craving the summer too?