Winter can be a depressing time of year. Gray days may keep you indoors, but if you’re gloomy, you may need to get out in the sun, because low levels of vitamin D (the vitamin you get from sunlight) have been linked to depression.

Psychiatrist . E. Sherwood Brown says, "Our findings suggest that screening for vitamin D levels in depressed patients–and perhaps screening for depression in people with low vitamin D levels–might be useful."

Low levels of vitamin D already are associated with health woes ranging from cardiovascular diseases to neurological ailments. Low D levels are already accepted as risk factors for autoimmune diseases, heart and vascular disease, infectious diseases, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, certain cancers, and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, multiple sclerosis, and general cognitive decline. So get out in the sunshine!

In her famous diet book "What I Learned From the Fat Years," Anne Strieber (who developed this diet using scientific principles and lost 100 pounds) tells us how to eat, but she also emphasizes exercise, in her chapter titled "The Tyranny of the Body." You don’t have join a gym or be athletic to be fit–she explains that WALKING is the best way to exercise–and it not only exercises the body, it’s good for the brain!

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