When it comes to nutrition, getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals into our bodies is one of the most important parts of a balanced diet. However, it isn’t always clear what foods provide what things. Vitamin D is one of these, as it helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body and keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
Vitamin D is often referred to as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’, but there are other sources other than the Sun. Between October and April, when Sun is limited, our vitamin D levels drop significantly. These other sources can be a good way to keep your Vitamin D levels up during this time.
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Freshly grown mushrooms are a great source of Vitamin D if they are produced outdoors. Like humans, they can create vitamin D when exposed to sunlight or UV light, meaning they are a great way for us to get a good boost of vitamin D. Mushrooms also mean that people who follow a vegetarian diet can keep their vitamin D levels up without having to consume non-vegetarian products.
Another good source for vitamin D (especially for vegetarians) is egg yolks. This doesn’t mean you have to eat only egg yolks, but the yolk is the part of the egg which provides vitamins and minerals.
Like mushrooms, the vitamin D levels depend on the amount of sun exposure chickens have or the vitamin D levels in their feed. Pasture-raised chickens that are fed the right kind of feed can provide eggs with a very high vitamin D content.
Milk, or fortified foods, are a good source of vitamin D. Cow’s milk is often fortified with vitamin D, making it a great source for children and one of the easiest sources as many people add milk to their tea or coffee or even cereal.
Soy milk is also a good source of vitamin D, especially for those on a meat-free diet. As many vegetarians and vegans are at risk of not getting enough vitamin D in their diets, plant-based milk like soy milk is often fortified with vitamin D and other vitamins usually found in cows milk to give those on such diets an easy way to keep their levels up.
Orange juice is a good source of vitamin D if you don’t like milk or are lactose intolerant. It is another food type with vitamin D added to it, but it is still an effective source. It is likely to be one of the most well-known sources of vitamin D available to people.
Cereals and oatmeal are another food type fortified with vitamin D. They do not provide enough to reach a person’s daily intake. You would need more natural sources for that, but its a good way to start the day and a good boost to your intake.
Oily fish is one of the most natural sources of vitamin D. Fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and oysters all provide a great boost to your daily intake. Like chickens, wild-caught fish contain more vitamin D than farmed fish, but both are just as effective.
That doesn’t mean you have to eat fish every day, but it can be a good option for those winter months when the sun isn’t providing the amount of vitamin D you need.
Vitamin D Supplements
Finally, and perhaps the most obvious, is vitamin D supplements. If you don’t like some of the other options or just don’t suit your diet, vitamin D tablets are a good option. They are available in most supermarkets and are designed to provide your daily intake in one tablet. Many stores even have vegetarian and vegan options to suit everyone, no matter what kind of diet you follow.
It is important that we make sure we keep our vitamin D levels up. If you become deficient, it can cause fatigue and tiredness, or you can get ill more often. Severe cases can even lead to the development of Rickets. Whilst the Sun provides enough vitamin D during the summer months, and these are great options to keep your levels boosted during winter or even if you just can’t get out of the house very often.
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