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Six foods to boost your vitamin D levels this autumn and winter

Dr Ellie on why people should be taking Vitamin D supplements

As the days grow shorter and the weather takes a turn for the worse, the window for spending time outdoors shrinks, meaning your exposure to sunlight drops significantly. 

This lack of sunshine can lead to a deficiency in vitamin D, which is a key nutrient for your overall health.

Dubbed the sunshine vitamin, the nutrient plays a role in your bone health, immune system, cardiovascular health, as well as mental wellbeing.

Apart from taking a daily supplement between October and early March, you can also boost your vitamin D levels by eating certain foods. 

Ashleigh Tosh from Prepped Pots powered by MuscleFood said: “As the days are getting darker and temperatures drop, our bodies struggle to produce vitamin D through sunlight exposure.

READ MORE Vitamin D – expert shares whether you should take a supplement every day

“To combat the winter vitamin D deficiency, it’s essential to turn to dietary sources.

“By adding vitamin D-rich foods to your winter diet, you not only support bone health but also bolster your immune system and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.”

1. Fatty fish

From salmon to sardines and mackerel to tuna, oily fish are great natural sources of vitamin D.

Tosh said: “Not only do they provide vitamin D, but they’re also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and are good for heart and brain health.”

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2. Red meat

Red meat, including beef, pork and lamb is another good source of vitamin D. 

Despite being able to boost your levels of the sunshine vitamin, this type of meat should be consumed in moderation due to its saturated fat and cholesterol content, according to the expert.

3. Egg yolks

Easy to incorporate into various recipes, egg yolks are “perfect” for increasing your vitamin D levels.  

4. Cod liver oil

Considered an “excellent” source of vitamin D, a single teaspoon could provide your daily recommended intake.

5. Mushrooms

Good news for people who avoid meat and fish, certain mushrooms, like shiitake, also offer the sunshine vitamin. 

6. Fortified foods

Fortified foods refer to foods with added micronutrients which are not naturally present in them.

Tosh said: “For instance, vitamin D can be added to some breakfast cereals and oatmeal to improve their nutritional value. 

“Make sure to check the nutrition label to find out more about vitamin D content.”

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  • Posted on November 17, 2023