Us brits like to moan about the weather don’t we? We take quiet pleasure in a good old rant about our lack of sun, our grey skies and… the snow in March?!
It has us rallying together with a common understanding, it’s a time when we see ourselves in others, we connect almost as well as we do during a World Cup build up. We are ONE. Because we all don’t stop bloody moaning.
I’ve just had a thought - if we spend our whole lives in this climate, that means we will spend over half of our lives moaning about the weather.
Us brits also love an excuse to put the kettle on (3 times an hour) and our miserable winter months provide the perfect reason to snuggle under the covers with a cuppa, sit at our desk with a cuppa, drive to work whilst precariously holding a cuppa, make sad eyes when asking others to make us a cuppa, or go to Costa with friends for a cuppa - as we sit by the window, moaning, watching the rain pour, longing for sunshine...
Aside from the fact that what comes out of our mouths is actually a matter of choice - we can choose, at any point, to stop moaning about the weather - studies have also shown that a lack of vitamin D (the majority of which is provided by the sun) is closely linked with low moods and symptoms of depression, among other mental and physical illnesses.
How does vitamin D work?
Vitamin D is unique - it’s the only vitamin that functions like a hormone when it enters your body. It goes straight to your liver and kidneys where it’s converted into a hormone called calcitriol, which is what enables your body to absorb calcium. Every tissue in your body has vitamin D receptors, so it plays an important part in your overall health - it’s good for your bones, teeth, brain, muscles, nervous system and immune system… it helps your body release dopamine and serotonin (the hormones responsible for relaxation and good moods).
[In a recent study] adults with the highest levels of vitamin D saw their chances of liver cancer fall by 55 per cent, with a 36 per cent lower chance of prostate tumours, and 22 per cent lower risk of breast cancer.
What is a vitamin D deficiency?
It’s when you don’t get enough vitamin D! This can have a negative impact on many parts of the body - it can result in muscle spasms, bone pain, exhaustion, being sick, hair loss, low moods, reduced (mental) processing speed, problems with verbal fluency, and wounds that are slow to heal.
Studies tell us that people with a vitamin D deficiency are 11 times more likely to be depressed.
Vitamin D deficiencies have also been linked to coughs and colds, anxiety, weight gain, heart diseases, and brittle bones - among other mental and physical health problems.
How can I find out how much vitamin D I have?
You can go to your doctor and ask for a ‘25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test’ and it’ll give you very accurate results!
How can I get more vitamin D in my life?
The best way to get vitamin D is by absorbing it through your skin when the sun is shining! But if sun is hard to come by, you can get it by taking daily vitamin D supplements (iHasco have started to supply our team with vitamin tablets - they're much cheaper than you may think!) and you can incorporate these into your diet:
- Egg yolk
- Fish (wild-caught mackerel or salmon is best)
- Milk/Almond Milk
What else can I do?
If you don’t want to have a blood test but some of the above symptoms ring a bell, it’s worth consuming more vitamin D on a daily basis to see if it eases any of your symptoms.
If you’re prone to low moods, stress, depression or anxiety, or you’re worried about someone who is - I recommend taking our Mental Health and Wellbeing training. It’s packed with information about mental health and mental illness, and it’s full of simple tools, tips and tricks that can be used to improve your daily wellbeing.
And do your best to smile, even when it's raining 😊.