Autumn is undoubtedly one of the prettiest seasons of the year, and the perfect reminder to increase our vitamin D intake in preparation for winter. Naturally, vitamin D is produced in our skin (in its response to the sun) and is stored in our bodies for up to 2 months.
We all love a healthy balance of the warm sun on our faces and bodies, but as the daylight hours shorten and we head into winter, we need to increase our vitamin D levels through foods and natural supplements to maintain optimum levels.
Here are the top benefits of Vitamin D:
Research proves that a lack of vitamin D can increase our chance of infections. It plays a key role in strengthening the immune system and helps to fight off harmful bacteria and viruses.
Vitamin D is known for building strong bones, teeth, and muscles by increasing the body’s absorption of phosphorus and calcium. Deficiency in this vitamin, particularly in children, is linked to bone deformities such as rickets, and osteomalacia (softening of bones) in adults.
They call it the sunshine vitamin for a reason. Research has proven that Vitamin D plays an important role in our brain function, as well as regulating and improving our moods.
Unfortunately, 1 in 5 people in the UK is deficient in this vitamin without even knowing it. To test your Vitamin D levels, the best approach is to have your blood tested with your Doctor. They can also advise on your recommended daily intake.
Foods high in vitamin D include:
- Oily fish – salmon, canned tuna, swordfish, herring, sardines
- Egg yolks
- Mushrooms (grown in UV light)
- There is a range of fortified foods to choose from too. For example, some cereals, yoghurts, orange juice, and milks (including plant-based milk) have added vitamin D. Check the labels for more information.
There is a variety of Vitamin D supplements in the market for both kids and adults. Pop to your nearest health store and have a chat with a customer service representative for advice on the best supplement for you and your family. Or take a look online and do some research before choosing the right one. Children’s supplements usually come in drops or in chewable form.
There are many other foods to help boost your immune system as you enter into the cooler months. If you would like to know more about these, view this blog post here.
I love the sunshine, and the cosy winter days too. Knowing my body has sufficient levels of vitamin D certainly helps me get through the days without sunshine, and I hope this can help give you the boost you may need too.