Why boosting your Vitamin D intake should be a key part of your diet this winter

It is especially important over the next few months with sunlight at a minimum.

It's important to meet those daily recommendations.
It's important to meet those daily recommendations.
Image: Shutterstock/SK Design

AS THE EVENINGS draw to an early close and darkness sets in for the winter, there is one supplement that you should strongly consider using for optimal health.

Vitamin D is something that we recommend all of our clients take and this is especially important in the winter months in Ireland with our lovely climate and lack of sun.

Viatmin D, often referred to as the sunshine vitamin, is a fat soluble vitamin that we make when we are exposed to sunlight and direct ultraviolet B radiation.

Windows, sun cream, cloud and smog all affect this sunlight which explains why vitamin D deficiencies are more prevalent in countries further away from the equator.

We can get Vitamin D from certain foods but only in very small amounts. It acts like a hormone in our bodies and has a powerful impact on our health.

Vitamin D improves the absorption and action of calcium and phosphorus. It mobilises minerals to bones. It is involved in the usage of many other critical body minerals like magnesium and zinc.

Vitamin D deficiencies have been shown to be linked with a whole range of issues such as:

  • Increased loss of muscle and strength as we age
  • Increased risk of cancers
  • Lower levels of immunity
  • Higher blood pressure
  • The development of neurological disorders
  • The development of diabetes

But there is such a thing as taking too much Vitamin D and it becoming toxic in the body.

This can only be done with supplementation as our bodies prevent it happening from sun exposure intake. You would need to take in very high levels (50 times the Recommended Daily Allowance per day) for an extended period of time so it is not something to worry about.

Most people are way closer to being deficient. The Irish and EU RDA is between 300-400 units per day for adult males and females.

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Our recommendation is to take in 3000 international units (iu) of vitamin D3 per day right through the winter months.

Most supplement companies develop their Vitamin D products to be in range of 25000iu per day.

Here are a couple of ways to boost your daily Vitamin D intake:

  • Oily fish
  • Canned tuna
  • Mushrooms
  • Milk
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Tofu
  • Orange juice
  • Supplements
  • Egg yolks
  • Cod liver oil

In association with Elite Physical Prep. Check out their websiteTwitter or Facebook for more information.

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