I was a little disappointed this week to discover that although I was sitting in front of a window enjoying the warmth from the sun, I was getting no vitamin D benefits.
Vitamin D helps our body absorb the calcium needed for strong bones and muscles. I did some research to find out how to increase our vitamin D levels.
A study has found that Australian women do not get enough Vitamin D, which is then linked to several different health issues.
Vitamin D forms in the skin
- when it is exposed to UV from sunlight
- obtained from some foods such as fatty fish, liver, eggs, margarine and some milk products.
According to the Cancer Council of Australia, we need to balance the risk of skin cancer caused by too much sun exposure, with maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. Their website provides the following facts:
- Sensible sun protection does not result in vitamin D deficiency.
- For most people, adequate vitamin D levels can be reached through incidental exposure to the sun. During summer, most people can maintain adequate vitamin D levels from a few minutes of exposure to sunlight on their face, arms and hands on most days of the week.
- In a Ballarat winter, we may need about two to three hours of sunlight to the face, arms and hands, spread over a week.