What do you need to know about the Sunshine vitamin ?

Well,are you someone like me who is still talking about the sunny summer days. Sorry guys,Summer is over and it is officially autumn and winter is at the doorstep.I actually love autumn.Do you?

We’ll soon be thinking of making warm casserole, stews and warming meals but one of the  important aspect to consider during the winter months is , a very important vitamin ,i.e,Vitamin D, aka ,the sunshine vitamin.This is made under our skin ,when skin is exposed to sunlight.

Why is it important to think of meeting vitamin D requirements during winter?

Vitamin D is also called sunshine vitamin as the main source of vitamin D is the sunlight.During the winter months ,in UK we do not get enough sun to synthesise sufficient vitamin D to meet the requirement.

Why is vitamin D important?

One of the main function of Vitamin D is for bone health.Along with minerals Calcium and phosphorus ,it helps maintain bone health, dental health and also muscular health. Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium so even if you are having calcium rich diet, without the help of vitamin D ,calcium cannot be absorbed.So often, people are focused on calcium alone for bone health and not vitamin D.

How much vitamin D do we need?

From the age of 1yr to adult ,daily requirement is 10micrograms /day.During the summer months ,this requirement is met through the sun and the dietary sources, unless you are housebound and not exposed to the sun. During the autumn and winter months ,it is recommended having 10micrograms vitamin D supplement and remember you do not need anymore than this.

Groups at risk of low Vitamin D:

  • Those who are housebound and do not get enough sun exposure
  • Pregnant and lactating mothers
  • People with darker skin tone-living in the UK or other northern climates
  • Those living in extremely polluted environment where sunlight is obstructed.
  • Those wearing full clothing ,not exposing enough skin to the sun.

Dietary sources of Vitamin D:

  • Oily fish such as kippers, sardines, salmon etc
  • Cod liver oil ,this contains high amount of Vitamin D.Check the label.Do not take if you are pregnant .
  • Some breakfast cereals, bread , spreads etc are fortified with Vitamin D
  • food like egg yolk, meat, offal has vitamin D but the content varies from each season.
So, get your coats, boots and pretty scarves out and yes, next time you are by the Pharmacist ,do not forget to grab yourself your vitamin D supplement.
Stay warm and Enjoy the winter.After all, a mug of hot chocolate never tastes better than in those cold winter nights .

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