Posted by: Sara Valente29 MAY 2011
Once the hot May weather has passed we are left with a chilly feeling that makes us wonder if summer will return again this year. Not only does the sunshine mean that we can spend more time outdoors and enjoy picnics but it also plays an important role in our health. Some of us feel better with slightly tanned skin or feel healthier because of the extra fresh air but mostly the sun provides us with a very special wavelength, ultra-violet B (UVB) that our skin absorbs and allows our body to produce vitamin D photochemically.
Vitamin D is essential for bone strength as it promotes the uptake of calcium which is more important for certain age groups. It is also good for a strong immune system, for fighting colds and flu and can even help to prevent cancer. Of course, there are other vitamins and nutrients that contribute to our overall health but with a lack of sunshine each year we could be in danger of a slight vitamin D deficiency especially if it is not obtained elsewhere. Without it we are more susceptible to bone diseases, young children can suffer from rickets and older people from osteoporosis.
The sun is not the only way of obtaining vitamin D as there are vitamin pill supplements and lots of food tha tcontain it such as eggs and fish. A diet rife with the vitamin can fulfil the recommended daily allowance without the need of sunshine. It is not a matter of emergency but something to think about as I did whilst unpacking my winter clothes this week!