itamins and minerals play
important roles within
our body - and vitamin
D is no exception. It
helps to regulate calcium
and phosphate, which is vital for strong,
healthy bones, teeth and muscles. Yet,
surprisingly, as many as 13% of the
world's population is deficient.
So how much do we need? That
depends on your age. The NHS states
that babies up to 12 months need 8.5
to 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day.
Children from the age of 1 and adults
need 10 micrograms a day. This includes
pregnant and breastfeeding women and
people at risk of vitamin D deficiency -
care home residents, people covering up
large areas of their skin while outside and
those with darker skin tones.
That's because one way to get vitamin
D is from the sun - we produce it when
our skin is exposed to sunlight. In the UK,
from around the end of March to the end
of September, most of us should be able
to get all the vitamin D we need - giving
us even more of reason to get outside and
enjoy walking or even a spot of gardening.
As autumn creeps into winter -
between October and early March - it's
harder to get enough sunlight exposure
to produce this necessary vitamin. This is
where diet comes into play. Good dietary
Fish: Fatty fish and seafood are
among the richest natural food sources
of vitamin D. Canned salmon, tuna,
mackerel, oysters, shrimp, sardines, and
anchovies are good sources. Enjoy with
As daylight hours decrease and winter sets in, it's important to
boost your levels of vitamin D. Here are some ways to do it.
By Angela Coffey.
salad, topped on a jacket potato or as
part of a sandwich to up your intake.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms are the
only plant-based sources of vitamin D. Try
a creamy soup packed with mushrooms
- fry onion and garlic, add mushrooms,
stock and water and a little milk, and boil
until soft. Add a splash of milk then blend
- perfect for warming winter lunches.
Eggs: Egg yolks - especially freerange eggs - are
a great source of vitamin
D. This is because hens that can roam
outside in the sunlight produce more
vitamin D in their eggs than hens that are
kept indoors. Luckily, eggs are versatile
and make for a great hearty breakfast
with minimal effort. Boiled eggs and
soldiers, scrambled, or poached are easy
to prepare and set you up for the day.
Fortified foods: Vitamin D is often
added to food staples - like bread, fortified
dairy products and breakfast cereals -
perfect for topping up your intake.
D-LICIOUS: Foods rich in vitamin D