If you haven’t heard, winter is coming. And whilst we might be looking forward to getting our winter wardrobe out, making delicious soup, mulling wine and prepping for a family filled festive season, we can’t lose focus on what keeps us happy and healthy. That means not eating all the mince pies in one sitting... or so I’ve been told.
One of the biggest ways that we can ensure a healthy winter is to include Vitamin D in our healthcare routines. Vitamin D is a showstopping little hormone which has multiple active benefits for our bodies and minds. So much so, in fact, that health organisations have deemed it an essential supplement in winter months, as our primary source of Vitamin D comes from sunlight hitting our skin . You can find out more about what Vitamin D does for the body, and how we get it in this guide.
As the days get shorter, we need to look for alternative methods of keeping our Vitamin D levels up. Not getting enough of “the sunshine vitamin” can lead to fatigue, low mood and pain in our joints. It can also help to combat the effects of depression which will help in the winter months when Seasonal Affective Disorder can heighten the feeling of low mood, lack of energy and changes in sleep patterns. A deficiency can also lower our immune system’s capability to handle illness - not what you want when we’re entering flu season!
In the longer term, a lack of Vitamin D can present as osteoporosis, autoimmune conditions and cardiovascular problems, so ensuring that we don’t rely purely on the sunlight for our needs is important. This begs the question, how do we get more Vitamin D when there’s not enough sun?
Here are a few ideas to keep your levels (and your mood) positive…
1. Get Outside!
One of the best things you can do is go for a winter walk! Whilst there might not be enough sun to fulfil your entire Vitamin D requirements, a little bit of sunshine and a walk in the brisk air will invigorate and energise you whilst giving you a bit of a top up! Remember, gazing wistfully out of the window at the sun won’t help - the UVB rays our bodies convert into Vitamin D can’t travel through glass, so get out there and enjoy yourself!
Plus, a crisp wintery morning is a great opportunity to get your blood pumping and ready for the day. It can be really difficult to get moving in the cold months, and much easier to stay in bed, but knowing it’s doing your whole body good is definitely a motivating factor, despite how cosy you might be.2. Eat Mushrooms
Mushrooms are one of the few plant-based ingredients which contain levels of Vitamin D. Exposure to UVB during growth means that most mushrooms contain high levels of D2, a type of Vitamin which, whilst not as bioavailable as its counterpart D3, still give you the benefits of sunshine. You can read more about the difference between D2 and D3 in this guide.3. Get fortified…
A lot of plant-based foods, such as plant milk, spreads and cereals are fortified with Vitamin D, as well as other essential vitamins, such as B12. However, other fortified foods might use D3 from lanolin, a greasy secretion from sheep’s wool, so it’s always wise to check its plant-based status before purchase!
One of the best things that we can do for our Vitamin D levels in the winter is use a supplement. There are many different kinds of supplements which provide D3 - choosing the right one for you and your routine is important.
If you’re looking for an all in one solution to your vitamin needs, then look no further than Vivo Life’s Vegan Multinutrient which contains all the Vitamin D3 you need, as well as a host of other essential vitamins and minerals. Alternatively, if you’re looking for pure D3, you can’t go wrong with our Vegan Liquid D3 Supplement which gives you 1000% of the sunshine vitamin in liquid form for rapid absorption.
Vivo Life’s D3 in every product is derived from algae, which has one of the highest bioavailabilities of any plant-based ingredient. It also contains Vitamin K2 which not only helps our bodies absorb D3 better ,but also reduces calcium build up in our arteries and improves blood flow.
5. Shake and go…
This could really go with supplementation, but I think it deserves its own section - there’s a difference between taking a multinutrient or supplement, and creating a delicious drink which also benefits your health!
Why not try our THRIVE, our organic greens and multivitamin powder, which not only contains almost 600% of your D3, but also comes in two delicious flavours. Or our WHOLE plant-based nutritional shake which can be used as a base for smoothies, porridge and overnight oats, giving you a delicious, flexible breakfast whilst also providing your Vitamin D requirements throughout the winter months.
So there you have it - my top five tips for getting more Vitamin D through the winter! Keep well!