Winter is hitting us and it is FREEZING outside! Along with the snow, there seems to be a lack of sunshine and Vitamin D filling us with joy, leaving somoe of us feeling unmotivated, tired, and sad. Without the sun pouring the warmth and energy we thrive on in the summer, what can we do to feel energized, motivated, and well-rested every day? Three ways we can do our part to boost our Vitamin D during the cold winter months can be through eating healthy foods and eating the right foods with that boost of Vitamin D, getting sunlight, and taking supplements.
- Eating the Right Foods
One way to get the Vitamin D we might be lacking can be through eating yummy foods! According to Intermountain Healthcare, there are a few foods, in particular, that can boost us with Vitamin D. Some of these foods include salmon, tuna, mackerel, mushrooms, and Vitamin D fortified foods, such as milk. These foods can help enhance your Vitamin D intake and provide healthy and yummy meals for you and your family.
- The Sun (Real or Fake)
A second (and more obvious way) that you can get your Vitamin D is through sunlight. However, when there’s a severe lack of sunlight in the winter months, where can you turn? One way to get some sunlight can be through a “Vitamin D Lamp” or a “Light Therapy Box”. You may be asking yourself, “What is this?” Well, if you aren’t able to get the natural sunlight during the winter, you may want to try artificial light. According to U.S. News, light therapy boxes have proven to have a defensive effect against SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder). Dr. John Stracks, a clinical assistant professor of family and community medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, explains that these lamps do not guarantee an escalation in Vitamin D levels. Although many have felt better using products like the Litebook which emits wavelengths of light which are identical to the peak wavelengths of the sun.
- Taking Supplements
A third and final way to increase those Vitamin D levels is through a supplement. ALWAYS check with your doctor before adding a supplement. Supplements may interfere with other medications you are taking. They are easy to find over the counter, but you need to know how much your body requires. This is where your doctor can help.
Though the winter can be cold, dark, and brutal at times, it doesn’t mean we should be feeling sad or unmotivated to do the things we love. By taking care of ourselves through eating the right foods, exercise, and going the extra mile to get the right vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy, we can guarantee that our winter will be fun, snowy, and bright.
By Sara Corcoran, Counseling Intern
Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc.
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