Today we finally had some sunshine here in the big smoke and so I made the most of it and ate my lunch outside. It felt wonderful to be sat in full sunshine, but the benefits of sun exposure aren't limited to the temporary lift in mood - you need sunshine to manufacture vitamin D in your skin cells.
Vitamin D is one of the few nutrients which your body manufactures itself and most of the vitamin D found in the body will have been produced internally, rather than coming from food sources. It's also one of the main stored nutrients, whereas most nutrients wash out the body after a few days your clever body makes the most of the summer sun by storing Vitamin D in the liver for you to use over winter when your skin will be covered up.
This system works really well, unless of course the summer fails to materialise! So if you haven't got any holidays booked to more southern destinations you may be running low on Vitamin D right now.
Low levels of vitamin D put you at greater risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis, depression and most organ cancers - infact research into this vitamin continually digs up new ways in which it is vital for health.
The main food sources of vitamin D are oily fish and eggs so if you don't eat these foods regularly you're particularly likely to need a supplement. I usually supplement with drops over winter, but if the summer doesn't turn up soon I'm going to start a couple of months early!