Living with shorter and darker days this time of year, us Washingtonians get used to enjoying the small bits of sunlight that squeak through the confines of our office window. Although temporarily distracted by the hustle and bustle of the holidays, our lack of sunlight can eventually make us feel groggy, tired and maybe even a little depressed. What you may not know is these symptoms could mean you have a Vitamin D deficiency, something that affects nearly 70% of people during the winter months.
So what does Vitamin D do for us anyway? This nutrient gives our body the ability to absorb calcium properly, which ultimately helps us maintain strong and healthy bones. Aside from fatigue, a Vitamin D deficiency can cause bone deterioration in both children and adults. This could lead to rickets, osteoporosis, muscle weakness and bone pain.
With the sun not here to help us, one way to ensure you and your family get plenty Vitamin D this winter is to take a supplement. You can find Vitamin D supplements at any local drug store or grocery store. Check with your doctor before taking this vitamin as it can react with certain medications.
Not wanting to take yet another vitamin? Try incorporating food into your diet that is particularly rich in Vitamin D. Generally, our body needs approximately 800iu of Vitamin D a day.
- Egg Yoke – 25iu per serving
- Fish – 205iu per serving
- Margarine – 60iu per serving
- Beef liver – 46iu per serving
- Milk – 100iu per serving
When the lack of sun really gets you down, consider investing in a Happy Light. These lamps replicate the UVB rays from the sun, giving your body Vitamin D. Try turning the light on when eating breakfast in the morning, or even bring your lamp into work and have it on throughout the day. Many people report feeling more alert, focused, and cheerful when using a Happy Light. We hope it works for you too!