Everyone knows that we get our main source of Vitamin D from the sunlight, which when living in the UK, can prove difficult – especially during the autumn and winter months. During spring and summer it is so much easier to get out and about for at least the recommended 30 minutes a day but the latter half of the year can throw some rather chilly obstacles in our way.
Lack of Vitamin D can cause health problems which include bone pain and muscle weakness resulting in rickets, although this hasn’t been prevalent for a while it is making a return due to the lack of sunshine! Holidays in the sun are a great solution but not always possible and certainly not budget friendly this time of year.
So how else can I get my Vitamin D?
Having spoken with Shona Wilkinson, Lead Nutritionist for Nature’s Best she has suggested we try to get a little much needed Vitamin D through making some simple additions to our diet:
1. Add oily fish to your diet – Oily fish is incredibly good for you. Oily fish such as salmon, herring, mackeral, anchovies and sardines are some of the few foods which contains Vitamin D naturally. They also contain Omega 3 which is an essential fatty acid important for cardiovascular and skin health. Make sure you have about 2-3 portions of oily fish per week. Canned oily fish is a great healthy snack to have.
2. Mushrooms are also a source of Vitamin D. Try having some sliced mushrooms in your fridge that you can easily sprinkle over a salad or add to soups. There are a huge variety of mushrooms available in the supermarkets nowadays so plenty of options to go for!
3. Egg yolks contain Vitamin D. People used to be worried about cholesterol and eggs but this has now been disproved so eat them as much as you like! Try having scrambled or boiled eggs for breakfast which will not only give you some Vitamin D but also some protein to help keep you fuller for longer.
4. Ricotta cheese is one of the few cheeses which contains Vitamin D. Since ricotta cheese is so delicious, it’s an easy addition to make to your diet!
5. Some cereals are fortified with Vitamin D. Watch out for cereals which have loads of added sugar though.
I was so pleased to read this as we are huge fans of everything on the list!
The girls love tuna and would eat sliced smoked salmon until its coming out of their ears and mushrooms are in almost every meal we make from casseroles to adding slices to our pasta sauces. Both myself and girls love eggs and Evie is a mean scrambled egg maker so this is a good excuse to get her in the kitchen helping out a little more too!
Ricotta cheese is one of those cheeses that work well as both savoury and sweet foods, one of my favourite things is mezze or tapas style foods so ricotta on crusty bread topped with fresh tomatoes is absolutely divine! Plus we often incorporate ricotta into cheesecake or cupcake frosting etc so its good to know that we can get our Vitamin D while also having a treat too!
Shona also suggests that if you are worried about your Vitamin D levels, you can get a blood test from your GP or order a home test kit from the Vitamin D Council – www.vitamindcouncil.org. It is reasonable to assume that if you live in the UK, you may be low in Vitamin D. In this case, it could be beneficial to take a Vitamin D supplement. In fact, the Government in the UK has issued public health advice stating that everyone should consider taking a Vitamin D supplement in the Autumn and Winter.
Look for a Vitamin D3 supplement which is better absorbed than Vitamin D2. If you want any further advice, it is best to speak to your GP.
I am off to work out my weekly meal menu and will be incorporating some dishes based on the recommendations above, at least our Vitamin D intake is one less thing to worry about now!
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