It's dark in the morning and by 4pm it's getting dark again!
With limited daylight and local lockdown tier restrictions still in place, it can be difficult to get enough natural vitamin D from just sunlight alone.
So what can you do to boost your intake during the winter months?
There are some simple additions to your diet and lifestyle that can make all the difference!
Why is it important?
From your muscles to your bones, vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. It boosts our immune system, helping us to fight off infection.
Ever wondered why you ache more in the colder months? It's not necessarily the cold that makes you hurt but more the lack of essential nutrients. It's the same with fatigue, low vitamin D means low energy and mood.
From October to March, people are advised to take a supplement of vitamin D. Too little vitamin D can lead to bone problems such as rickets in children, and bone pain and muscle weakness in adults, which may also increase the risk of falls in older people.
Adapt your diet
While no one food is a miracle energy-booster, there are foods out there that are packed full of vitamin D (added bonus that most of these also contain high levels of iron to help boost your energy levels and mood, win win!)
- Oily fish for example, mackerel and salmon
- Fish liver oils
- Liver (Yes, it's an acquired taste...)
- Red meat
- Dairy products such as milk, egg, cheese
- Cereals and other foods that are fortified with Vitamin D
How do I know if I'm Vitamin D deficient?
Apart from the common side-effects of vitamin D deficiency, a simple blood test will show how much Vitamin D is in your body.
If you are very concerned that you are at risk of vitamin D deficiency, a trip to your doctor should help set your mind at ease.
Vitamin D supplements are widely available and may be purchased at supermarkets and pharmacies.