We’ve got a bit of a wait until the days start getting longer again, and after the holiday season is over there’s little to look forward to. While there’s some debate over the legitimacy of Seasonal Affective Disorder, (or more fittingly, SAD) I believe it is definitely real. And carb craving is actually a symptom! So don’t worry – it’s not you, it’s winter.
When it’s pitch black at 5 p.m. and frigid winds turn your face numb after being outside for 2 minutes, how can we not get a little down? Besides a vacation, there are a few things you can do to help yourself out during the winter months. Exercise of course helps, but what also makes a huge different is with what you put in your body – like vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. More specifically, vitamin D3.
In fact, SAD itself is caused by lack of vitamin D3, so this is definitely one you want to add. The best source is the sun, but since it’s early to bed and late to rise at the moment, here are your best options:
- Still the sun
Even though we don’t see as much of it, you can still get your vitamin D on a sunny wintery day. A short walk is all you need.
The most vitamin D of any food (and wild salmon has even more than the farmed kind).
A serving of tuna has a healthy dose of Vitamin D – more than one-third of a daily dose. (Light tuna in oil has the most).
Fortified milk has one-fifth a day’s worth.
The vitamin D amounts vary by brand so read your labels carefully!
(Here’s a list of good, D-filled options)
On top of D, oysters also get you vitamin B12, zinc, iron, just to name a few. But also cholesterol, so watch yoself if heart disease or stroke are concerns.
Another one with multiple benefits, eggs offer vitamin D, B12 and protein.
The only reason I ever agreed to eat mushrooms was because I thought I’d grow taller like Alice in Wonderland. That didn’t happen, but they did give up high vitamin D, and B5.
If you can’t manage to get enough vitamin D from food or able to be outside very much, you can take a supplement. Look for options that contain vitamin D3 rather than vitamin D2 (D3 is more potent).
And of course, discussing it with your personal health care provider is a good idea, and they can give you recommendations for doses.
[image by Liam Heng Swee]