Vitamin D the Sun Vitamin 

vitamin D image

Vitamin D is a steroid vitamin, made by your body when your skin is exposed to the sun. So it’s often referred to as the sun vitamin.

It’s most known for it’s role in calcium absorption and keeping our bones strong, but more recently research shows it’s also important for the immune system, for muscles, the heart and lungs, it has anti-cancer effects and is important for brain development and mood.

Vitamin D deficiency is a huge problem around the world. In New Zealand  48% of adults and 57% of children are deficient in vitamin D.

The most common symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include a poor immune system, fatigue and tiredness, bone, muscle & back pain, hair loss, bone loss, poor wound healing and depression.  Fatigue, anxiety and panic attacks can often be improved by having optimal vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D is necessary for creating serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters that help with feeling calm and happy.   Depression and other mental health conditions can be caused by inflammation of the brain. Vitamin D helps dampen down the fire of inflammation to healthy levels. It also stimulates brain repair.

Aim to get 20 mins of sun exposure daily without sunscreen.  Avoid getting burnt, but get just enough to slowly tan.

Encourage little ones to play outside whenever possible.  For adults make an effort to work outside as much as possible, eat your lunch in the sun daily or play outside with your kids to soak up those healing rays.

Collecting enough vitamin D in summer to last all year is very important. Those with darker skins need more time in the sun than those with fairer skin.

Try to use sunscreen minimally.  When using opt for natural sunscreens with a zinc base.  Avoid chemical based sunscreens. Your local organic shop will have lots of options to choose from.

Being sensible in the sun is important but so is collecting plenty of vitamin D.  Find a balance that works for your own family and get in the sun and surf this summer.

Abby Soares
Registered Nurse | Nutritionist | Health Coach
Nourish Holistic Health & Nutrition Ltd

Gorgeous skin and happy hormones


When it comes to your skin and your shine, one of the first places to look at addressing is your liver health.  If the liver is congested and full of liver loaders (see below) then the body has to utilize another detoxification process.  When the liver is overloaded the next port of call is generally to push toxicity out via the skin, our largest organ.

LIVER LOADERS

  • Coffee

  • Glutenous grains

  • Dairy

  • Alcohol

  • Trans fats

  • Refined sugars

  • Synthetic substances (for example medications, non organic skin care products, pesticides from foods)

  • Infection (for example viruses such as glandular fever)

When the liver is full of these liver loaders the body sends the products that would usually be excreted out though the liver, out via our skin instead.   This causes symptoms such as eczema, rosacea, acne, pimples and rashes.   Liver over loaders can lead to non-skin related conditions too such as PMS, heavy and clotty periods, overheating and hot flushes, poor sleep and cellulite to name a few.

High hormone levels occur when hormones get recycled back into the system rather than leaving the body via the liver.  When the liver is over loaded, it uses a recycling system to with hormones (and cholesterol) dropping them back into our system rather than removing the hormones as it should.   This causes an increased amount of hormones circulating in the body.  This hormone load causes worsening of PMS symptoms, heavy bleeding, clotting and skin related hormone conditions.

Cleaning up our liver by eating a nourishing diet is the first step to improving our skin, mood, sleep and menstruation issues.

Follow the rules of liver loving to improve your liver health.

LIVER LOVERS

  • Eliminating liver loaders

  • Greens, greens and more greens (your body loves them and so does your liver, resulting in gorgeous skin) double your intake of greens

  • Vegetables of all types and colours, double your intake of vegetables.

  • Fruit in the morning only, avoid after lunch

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Juicing (fresh pressed veggie juice) on an empty stomach first thing in the morning or afternoon

  • Water between meals

  • Yoga, walking and exercise daily

  • Diaphragmatic breathing

For most of the women I work with they are either addicted to sugar, coffee, dairy or alcohol.  You will know in your heart which one of these liver loaders is stealing your shine.  Try cutting one of these out for at least two weeks and see how you feel, notice the benefits and note them down.  Then try the next one on the list.

Never underestimate the impact of real food (Food grown in nature in its whole form)  Avoid processed foods, these not only fill your body with toxins and congest your liver, but they steal nutrients away from your body due to their acidity.

Vegetables and plant foods are alkaline; the body loves these foods and knows what to do with them.

Amp up your greens and your veggies by eating more smoothies, veggie juices and salads.

Change your breakfast cereal with milk to this delicious smoothie (recipe below) and lunch to a big salad with left over meat/eggs/beans and roast vegetables from dinner.

GORGEOUS GREEN SMOOTHIE

  • 1/2 cup cashews, almonds or pumpkin seeds

  • 1 cup frozen frozen berries

  • 1 lemon (not essential but the taste is wonderful)
  • 1 teaspoon of spirulina or powdered greens (optional but amazing)
  • 1 double handful of spinach or cos lettuce

  • 2 bananas

  • 750 ml filtered water

  • Blend and serve

  • Makes 2 large smoothies (one for morning and afternoon tea)

  • Variations: different nuts/seeds i.e. cashews, macadamia’s, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds.Vary greens; add dandelion leaves, mint, parsley, cucumber, use dates or pineapple instead of bananas.

  • Add in super foods such as spirulina or cacao powder

When you avoid liver loaders and nourish yourself with whole foods, you will find your liver starts to function optimally again.   You body will be able to use your liver to remove hormones and toxicity optimally.  The body will no longer have to push toxicity and hormones out via your skin and your skin will start to look radiant and glowing again.

Abby Soares
Registered Nurse | Nutritionist | Health Coach
Nourish Holistic Health & Nutrition Ltd