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  • Miranda Welton

Sunshine Boosts the Immune System


The world is currently experiencing a once in a lifetime phenomenon - much of the world is either still in lock down or starting to slowly emerge from it as a invisible virus sweeps through our land, almost like its borne on the wind. We were also 'banned' from sunbathing in public, which turns out to be one of the very things that may help a person keep healthy. Thank goodness this has now been lifted and we can access parks and outdoor spaces once again.

One thing that has come out of all the data that has emerged from the different countries is the virus seems to be affected by certain nutrients. Vitamin C has been mentioned but also Vitamin D. We know this as the sunshine vitamin as our bodies create it inside of us when we are exposed to sunlight on our skin. The word vitamin means 'Vital for Life', so we can't live without these tiny sources of health.

Good nutrition and diet strengthen our immune system and we need our immune system more than ever as those who have compromised health are the most at risk. So at times the most effective way to get extra help is to supplement our diet.

However if you have access to a garden or can spend quality time outside and don't cover up too much, then you may be getting enough Vitamin D, but for those stuck indoors, unable to access the outdoors, or who wear clothing that covers them up, it probable that you could become deficient. The effects of Vitamin D deficiency can be extreme.

A new study by Anglia Ruskin University has found a lack of Vitamin D to be a factor in the effect of Coronavirus. Lack of Vitamin D also causes rickets (bowed legs caused from soft bones) as we need D for healthy bones. A deficiency is also a factor in diabetes and can aggravate or even cause depression.

However unless the only way to get Vitamin D is by supplementing it, try and get healthy sun exposure (without loads of sunscreen on) as Vitamin D can be made internally when your skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. It also helps if we eat a diet containing natural Vitamin D2 in foods and these include fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, salmon and egg yolks.

Dairy products (yoghurt, milk etc) are fortified with Vitamin D3 which means it’s been added as does not occur naturally. Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) is a form of Vitamin D of animal origin. This is the one you get in supplements, so to get D2 - get outside as much as possible. Fresh air helps in so many ways, nature helps, sunshine helps - the Government is finally recognising that we are better from being outside in order to remain or get healthier.

So the advice is get outside, let the sun touch your skin (but don't burn or overdo it), eat fish and eggs, or if you are vegan or vegetarian then consume plants that contain this essential vitamin. If you want to avoid any animal product then remember that D3 (fortified) means it’s from animal sources. A good supplementary source of Vitamin D3 can be found here: LINK and is suitable for 3 years and over. If you want to also get a good Vitamin C - LINK Zinc is also an essential immune booster - LINK

Stay Calm ~ Stay Healthy ~ Stay Safe

#VitaminD #Sunshine #Depression #VitaminC #ImmuneSystem #Outside #sunbathing

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