My article on vitamin D coincides with the first day of the year we (Jersey) have seen anything more than a few minutes of sunshine, and the rays are great to see 😊☀️
JEP – 400 words – Why we Need Sunshine – Jacqui Carrel
It’s that time of year when many are trying to shed excess lbs and gain more energy. What things can really help? In short: enjoy real, low-sugar meals and drinks, making sure to get enough fats; stop snacking; identify your ‘I must have carbs!’ triggers and find ways of avoiding them; make new habits; get enough sleep; move your body frequently; get outside… and supplement with vitamin D3. Why?
At the time of writing, the only sunshine I’ve seen this year is an occasional glimpse at sunrise and sunset: not only are us Jersey folk missing out on sun’s mood-boosting benefits, we will most assuredly be eating into our vitamin D reserves.
Why does that matter and why should you care?
Vitamin D, while not actually a vitamin, is still vital for good health. It’s found in oily and fatty food (along with vitamins A, E and K) and works with vitamin K, magnesium and calcium, also found in fresh and minimally processed foods.
Evolutionary-wise, our main source of vitamin D should be from the UVB rays of the sun but, despite all that beautiful weather last summer, we are probably now low in it because we live at the wrong latitude! This means there’s only enough vitamin D-making UVB in the summer months between 10.00 and 2.00; at that time, many of us are inside, and sometimes it’s cloudy anyway.
In addition, many of us wear clothes that cover much of our skin, slap on the sunscreen, and eat low-fat foods. Also, glyphosate, used widely in Jersey and many other countries, and present in many of our foods, interferes with the biochemical pathway that turns sun-generated vitamin D into its usable form.
Along with sugar and glyphosate, research shows our decreasing and too-low vitamin D levels to be a contributing factor to the re-emergence of rickets, reproductive problems, and the increase in modern western diseases such as some forms of cancer, infections, diabetes, obesity, hypertension and more. If breast-feeding, please get your vitamin D levels checked.
My main message is that we need to increase our vitamin D levels. For now, enjoy unprocessed foods such as organ meats, fatty meat, oily fish, seeds, nuts, full-fat dairy, and supplement with ‘vitamin D3’ if needed. And, come June to September, in the words of the song, ‘let the sunshine in’!
Jacqui Carrel is a Nutrition Consultant. You can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org.