The change in weather causes us to switch things up come autumn and winter, from pulling out our woolly jumpers to bringing hot soups to work for lunch – and it seems our nutrition requires just as much attention.
According to a leading British health institution, people living at this side of the world should be taking vitamin D supplements during the dark days of autumn and winter.
Vitamin D is essential for regulating the calcium in our blood, bones and gut; and also assists with cell communication in the body. A lack of vitamin D has been associated with rickets.
Experts at Public Health England (PHE) have urged people to take a daily vitamin D supplement towards the end of the year, to make up for the lack of daylight needed to produce the ‘sunshine vitamin’.
In a report released this week, the team said that a mixture of the lack of sunshine and our indoor lifestyle habits can combine to leave us lacking in the essential vitamin.
Dr Louis Levy of PHE said: “A healthy, balanced diet and short bursts of sunshine will mean most people get all the vitamin D they need in spring and summer. However, everyone will need to consider taking a supplement in the autumn and winter if you don’t eat enough foods that contain vitamin D or are fortified with it.”
He added that those who spend the majority of their time indoors should be taking a supplement throughout the entire year.