The Vitamins You Need This Summer!
The Vitamins You Need This Summer!
It’s not often that we think about vitamins in terms of seasons. But you may know that there’s one important vitamin supplement that we’re all advised to take during the winter – vitamin D.
It’s difficult to get all our vitamin D needs from our diet, since aside from oily fish (with edible bones) and fortified dairy products, there aren’t many vitamin D rich foods. The majority of our vitamin D is in fact manufactured by our body when sunlight hits our skin. During the lighter, brighter summer months, we tend to get enough. But during the darker, colder months, when we’re outside less and we might cover our skin more, we can become deficient.
That’s why the NHS recommend that we take a daily 10mcg vitamin D supplement between October and March. In fact, at the moment, as we spend more time indoors due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions, it’s advised that we take the same vitamin D dose all year round. Now that we’re in Spring, and as we’re getting outside more frequently as restrictions lift, this advice may be changed soon.
But what about vitamins specific to the summer months? Here’s our lowdown…
Vitamin A helps to protect the skin from the UV rays of the sun. Whilst these rays can help us get a healthy glow, if we have pale skin or we’re prone to burning, these same rays can cause damage. Even if we have dark skin or skin that tans easily, we should be mindful of how much time we spend exposed to sunlight.
If we’re getting sufficient vitamin A, then our skin can protect itself against UV damage and premature skin ageing, but only to a point. We still need to wear sunscreen or take other precautions such as wearing loose fitting, long sleeved clothing, sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat.
Orange, yellow and red fruits and vegetables such as carrots, peppers, sweet potatoes, mangoes and apricots are all rich in vitamin A. Liver and liver pâte are also rich in vitamin A, but they’re only advised once a week.
Too much vitamin A can eventually lead to weakened bones, and pregnant women should avoid liver and all supplements containing vitamin A.
A great all year round supplement, vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that helps to protect the immune system. Colds and flus are less common in the summer, but they’re still about and can ruin a summer holiday!
Vitamin C can also help to protect the skin against UV damage and ageing and can help to limit your risk of developing heat rashes too.
Top up your levels by eating plenty of berries, citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts and potatoes. Try our Potato and Spinach Curry for a vitamin C packed dinner and these Blueberry Snack Bites when hunger strikes during the day!
Sunlight, heat, sweating and humidity can all play havoc with our skin, so looking after our skin is super important during the summer. Vitamin E is great for supporting good skin health as it’s an antioxidant that protects against UV damage. It also helps to support the immune system which might be working extra hard helping you deal with summertime allergies.
Avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil are all rich sources of vitamin E and our Spicy Black Bean and Avocado Burgers are a true family favourite!
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