Tips To Avoid Vitamin D Deficiency During WinterNaturely Shop
Vitamin D, a.k.a. the Sunshine Vitamin, is extremely important for our health. That is because our skin naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to UVB rays from the sun. Its biggest benefit is regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in our body – two minerals needed to ensure strong bones, teeth and muscles. Vitamin D also helps boost our immune system and fighting against infections.
Vitamin D deficiency means being more prone to bone and joint pain. This is especially adverse for older people as it increases the risk of falls and bone fractures, along with greater susceptibility to illnesses and infections. To put it simply, a lack of Vitamin D can lead to serious health problems. Even for young children and teenagers, it is a vital part of the bone structure development.
Sadly, in Australia, Vitamin D deficiency is a big issue. About 30% of adults Vitamin D deficient. During the winter months, when the sun doesn’t shine so bright and the nights are longer, we are more likely to have Vitamin D deficiency. On top of that, the level of UVB rays in sunlight are lower.
I used to deal with mild Vitamin D deficiency too, spending a lot of time talking to my doctor and researching ways to crank up my Vitamin D count. With winter well and truly here, I am writing this article in hopes of giving you some helpful tips to naturally increase your Vitamin D intake!
1. Make sure you get enough sun exposure
Sun exposure is the natural way for our bodies to synthesize Vitamin D. During winter; we tend to be less mobile and prefer to stay indoors.
You should try and spend at least 15 minutes outdoors, 3 – 4 day a week. This is super easy too! Take a morning stroll around the neighbourhood, walk your dog, walk to the station, take your kids to the park. It is also good to keep some skin exposed instead of bundling up, just wear
2. Eat more fatty fish
Because the levels of UVB rays from the sun are especially lower during winter, sun exposure may not be enough to protect you from Vitamin D deficiency. As we get older, our ability to process Vitamin D also decreases. Hence, other than spending time outside, you should also eat food that is rich in Vitamin D. Fatty fish or oily fish are a great source, as well as being super tasty. Some examples of fatty fish are salmon, tuna, flounder, mackerel, swordfish, whitefish…
These fatty fish can give you a healthy dose of Omega-3 fatty acids, which is good especially good for your heart. Though we know fish can be a bit pricey sometimes but even a little goes a long way. A palm-sized serving of these fish can give you from 75% to 100% of Vitamin D you need for one day. Otherwise you can try taking Omega 3 tablets or even Flaxseed oil which is rich in Omega 3 and perfect for cooking.
3. Eat more mushrooms
Mushrooms are the only non-animal natural source of Vitamin D. The skin of mushrooms has the same ability to process Vitamin D from sunlight as the human skin. Therefore, if the mushrooms are exposed to sunlight, they will have higher Vitamin D content.
Many stores are now selling Vitamin D-enriched mushrooms so look out for these next time you are grocery shopping. You can also enrich the mushrooms yourself by placing the normal mushrooms under direct sunlight for about 6 hours before cooking them. Delicious and packed full of nutrition, there is such a variety of mushrooms to choose from!
4. Eat foods fortified with Vitamin D
Besides having natural sources of Vitamin D, you can also go for foods fortified with Vitamin D to give you the boost that you need. Nowadays, more and more common foods in the grocery stores are fortified with Vitamin D to enhance their nutritional values. Some Vitamin D-enriched foods that you have easy access to are milk, eggs, orange juice, soy milk, yoghurt… Just remember to read the labels to see if it is fortified with Vitamin D.
5. Consider taking Vitamin D supplements
If even greater sun exposure and smart choices with food cannot protect you from Vitamin D deficiency, it’s time for Vitamin D supplements. However, remember to consult with a doctor before taking any supplements.
Since my Vitamin D deficiency was mild, I managed to keep it under control by spending more time outside and adding more fatty fish and mushrooms into my diet. The tips I shared with you were all recommended by my doctor and the results were great! I hope that after reading this article, you will take Vitamin D deficiency more seriously and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family, especially during these winter months. If you are dealing with Vitamin D deficiency right now, I just want to tell you that I know the journey can be difficult. I believe in you and wish you a speedy recovery. Together, we say no to Vitamin D deficiency this winter!