So you’re mood has taken a dip.
You can hear yourself starting to make excuses for being a bit lethargic and maybe missing an exercise session or two.
Your attempts at eating well and trying to be good have gone out the window.
And it doesn’t matter how hard you try, you just cannot stop yourself reaching for the sugary sweets and chocolate…
Your carb cravings know no bounds!
On top of all of this, despite sleeping like a log, you spend most of your day pining for your bed again!
But have you ever asked yourself why?
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A Healthy Body Can Lead To A Healthy Mind
A bout of exercise three times a week reduces risk of depression, according to a new study from University College London.
For every additional activity session per week, led to subjects reducing his or her odds of suffering depression by 6 per cent.
If an adult between 20 – 40 who isn’t physically active became active up to three times a week, they would reduce their risk of depression by approximately 16 per cent.
Read that again…
Importantly, this effect was seen across the whole population, not just those at high risk of clinical depression.
Low levels of Vitamin D
Serotonin is our body’s natural anti-depressant.
It is a chemical that helps maintain a “happy feeling,” and keeps our moods under control by helping with sleep, and relieving depression.
Low serotonin levels are believed to be the reason for symptoms like anxiety, apathy, insomnia and fatigue, and a ravenous appetite.
Low serotonin levels cause you to have intense cravings for sugar. This is because carbohydrates boost serotonin levels.
Serotonin’s biological opposite is Melatonin.
Melatonin, known as the “hormone of darkness,” is important in regulating sleep, and plays a role in maintaining circadian rhythm, the body’s natural time clock.
We humans are designed to rise and fall with the sun and our bodies require more sleep with less exposure to sunlight.
However, our lifestyles do not change throughout the year to mirror this, so during the winter months we end up getting up in the dark and sitting inside all day and then getting home in darkness as well.
All this time in darkness not getting natural sunlight play havoc with our melatonin production, and high levels of melatonin mean low levels of serotonin, which leads to us feeling more tired.
This low level of serotonin in our bodies at this time of year is caused primarily due to lack of exposure to natural sunlight.
Lack of exposure to sunlight leads to deficiencies in Vitamin D.
During the winter months between November and February in the UK, there is insufficient ambient UV to synthesise vitamin D.
More than 90% of most people’s vitamin D requirement comes from casual exposure to sunlight.
It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet.
Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D.
The ones that do include oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring.
Vitamin D is perhaps the single most underrated nutrient in the world of nutrition.
The simple solution to solve a vitamin D deficiency is to expose yourself to the sun more.
However, data from the UK 2000 Time Use Survey showed that on average each day British adults spend:
- 508 minutes sleeping
- 221 minutes at work on weekdays
- 148 minutes watching TV
- 85 minutes travelling
But… just 14 minutes engaging in outside activities.
Six out of 10 adults of working age in the UK are at risk of chronic disease because they do not get enough vitamin D.
The optimal daily intake of vitamin D is between 3,000 and 5,000 IUs per day.
An average UK diet may provide about 150 IUs of vitamin D per day.
Together with two teaspoons of fish oil (600 IUs) an average person in the UK could obtain 750 IUs of vitamin D.
The remaining vitamin D requirement must be obtained from the sun…which we know it cannot in the winter months.
So, Vitamin D intake really needs to be raised to a healthy level by taking supplements.
A dose of 200 IUs is commonly provided in high street over-the-counter products in the UK.
This is the Vitamin D supplement we recommend is a supplement called Amber Boost, which is a combination of Turmeric and Vitamin D in one.
You can find Amber Boost here:
The bottom line though is:
- Get outside more, walking, running, cycling, gardening – it all counts.
- Do more exercise – just 20 minutes to start with would be great.
- Take a Vitamin D supplement during the winter months in the UK.