Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from the diet, and is created by the body from direct sunlight on the skin. This is why during the winter months, with people spending more time in doors and wrapping up warm, vitamin D deficiency can be more likely. Three experts offer their top tips for ensuring your vitamin D levels are in tip top shape for the upcoming winter months, incluidng three foods to incorporate in your diet.
Plaza went on to advise other ways vitamin D can benefit us during the winter months.
She said: “Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) has been linked to low vitamin D levels during the winter months.
“Fat soluble Vitamin D is synthesised in the skin, from cholesterol, after exposure to UV rays.
“Between October and April in the UK we cannot synthesise adequate amounts of vitamin D from the sun and it is now well known that many of us in the UK are deficient.
“Vitamin D supplementation during the winter months has been shown to improve mood and is recommended as adequate vitamin D cannot be obtained from food alone.”
One of the down sides of the change in seasons is the lack of sunlight, added nutritionist, Clarissa Lenherr.
She added: “Sun exposure is our primary source of vitamin D, and so with a change in sunlight we can also find our vitamin D levels being to drop.
“Low levels of vitamin D are associated with lowered energy, mood and immune health (to name a few).
Asked how vitamin D could affect one’s bone health, Jane Clarke, Dietician and Founder of Nourish answered: “Vitamin D is important for the absorption of bone-strengthening calcium – crucial at any time, but especially in the winter when a fall on the ice may result in a broken bone.
“Vitamin D is mainly manufactured by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight – so winter’s dark and dreary days can mean our bodies don’t make the 10mcg we need daily.
“Food can top up our vitamin D levels, however – it is found in eggs, dairy produce, sardines and salmon.
“Dairy produce is high in calcium, which is why a diet that includes milk, cheese and cream can help ensure strong bones – one of my calcium-rich, all-natural and organic Nourish Drinks is a great way to top up your calcium levels.
“But if you don’t eat dairy for any reason, green leafy vegetables, soya products, nuts, seeds and nut milks all contain calcium.”