A lack of sunshine during the Great British Winter isn’t just problematic for your skin - patchy dry spots anyone?
Or your tolerance of others on the tube.
But it can also be responsible for long-term health problems such as a vitamin deficiency, which can lead to bigger problems later.
A fifth of adults in the UK have a Vitamin D deficiency according to National surveys. If that is not a sign to go on holiday, what else is?
Andrew Thomas, founder and managing director at BetterYou, said: “Our modern indoor lifestyles, processed foods and the overuse of sun creams in the Northern Hemisphere are resulting in a dramatic rise in vitamin D deficiency, which can cause fatigue, aches and pains, and frequent infections.” Not good.
Here are five signs to look out for that could mean you have a deficiency:
You feel sad. Serotonin is the hormone is your brain that is associated with mood elevation, it has been found to raise with exposure to bright light and lessen with decreased sun exposure. According to a study by the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, participants with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to depression.
You have tummy troubles. Vitamin D is fat soluble so if you have issues in your gut, you may have a limited ability to absorb vitamin D.
Your bones ache. A deficiency of Vitamin D can result in osteoporosis and weakened bones. Therefore feelings of aching bones is commonly associated with this deficiency.
You feel weak. Researchers at Harvard have linked vitamin D supplementation with increased muscle control. Vitamin D helps you to maintain control of your muscles.
You are sweating more than usual. A sweaty head has been reported to be one of the first signs of a vitamin D deficiency. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic report this to be one of the first ways to spot this in babies.
How can you keep your vitamin D in check?
Go on a sunny holiday! Most of our vitamin D comes from direct contact with sunlight on our skin. We don’t need to be told twice.
Take a supplement. The NHS recommends looking out for a supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D. There are a number of vitamin D supplements on the market which come in capsule form or you can opt for a oral spray such as Better You DLux range.
Ensure you include the following foods in your diet as they are all good sources of vitamin D: oily fish, such as salmon and sardines, eggs and fortified breakfast cereals.