Home Health & Wellness Expert Nutritionist Shares How to Keep Your Vitamin D Levels Up This Winter

Expert Nutritionist Shares How to Keep Your Vitamin D Levels Up This Winter

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While your body has the natural ability to turn the sunlight on your skin into vitamin D, throughout the winter months, you might need to consider other ways of enriching your body with this core vitamin.

Between the months of April and September, most people should be able to get all the vitamin D intake they need through direct sunlight. However, between October and March, in the UK we average just 9.39 hours of sunlight each day, meaning we need to source other ways of boosting our vitamin D intake.

With this in mind, UK-registered nutritionist and head chef, Anna Tebbs from recipe box delivery service Green Chef, has shared their advice on keeping your vitamin D levels up in the winter, along with useful tips and tricks when it comes to planning meals.

Why do we need vitamin D in our diet?

Anna comments, “Vitamin D is a key nutrient for maintaining healthy teeth, bones, and muscles because it helps your body regulate and absorb calcium more effectively.

“Those with a vitamin D deficiency might experience negative side effects such as muscle and bone aches and fatigue.

“According to the British Heart Foundation, most people need around 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day, but on average, we consume less than three micrograms. And in the winter, it’s especially important to consider ways of maintaining vitamin D levels in your diet when we’re exposed to less sunlight.”

Which foods are rich in vitamin D?

With an average of 27,000 monthly Google searches for “vitamin D foods”, it’s clear that Brits are seeking guidance on how to increase their intake through enriched foods.

While Anna recommends checking the nutrient level of any food on the packaging and ingredients list, she suggests some of the most vitamin D-rich foods are:

  • Types of oily fish, such as mackerel and salmon
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms
  • Milk replacements, including soy and almond
  • Some breakfast cereals

Tips for keeping your vitamin D levels up in winter

While oily fish is recommended for boosting vitamin D levels, UK-registered nutritionist, Anna Tebbs shares other simple alternatives to maintaining your vitamin D levels.

“The simplest way to increase your vitamin D levels through your diet is by increasing your mushroom intake. Particularly paying close attention to portobello, button, and chestnut mushrooms that have been grown in the sunlight or under a UV lamp. You can usually find this information on the packaging.

“This quick and easy swap can not only help reduce your meat intake but can also be used as a healthier plant-based alternative.

Plant Based News recommends that a portion of mushrooms between 80 and 100 g can provide you with all your daily vitamin D needs. This amounts to one large portobello mushroom, 11–14 button mushrooms, or just 4–5 chestnut mushrooms.

“You can also increase your intake by carefully choosing milk alternatives that have been fortified with vitamin D and calcium. Typically, in the UK, cow’s milk is not fortified, so making this swap can help to increase your vitamin D levels with very little impact on your daily diet.”

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