Vitamin D deficiency - six of the best food sources of the 'sunshine' vitamin

George Morris physio Wigan

Vitamin D deficiency - six of the best food sources of the 'sunshine' vitamin

VITAMIN D deficiency is particularly common during the winter months, when sunlight and daylight hours are reduced. But adding certain foods to your diet could help to prevent some symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency. These are the best dietary sources of the so-called ‘sunshine’ vitamin. Should you be taking vitamin D supplements?

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for the body, as it helps to keep your bones, teeth and muscles healthy, according to the NHS. If you develop a vitamin D deficiency, you may struggle to regulate the amount of calcium or phosphate in the body. A severe lack of the vitamin may even lead to some unwanted complications, including bone deformities, rickets, or osteomalacia. But, you could lower your risk of a vitamin D deficiency by regularly eating tuna, it’s been revealed.

Canned tuna is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin D available, according to medical website Everyday Health.

Most people need about 10mcg of vitamin D in a single day - the equivalent to about 400IU - and around 85g of canned tuna provides more than 150IU of vitamin D, it said.

“Vitamin D has gotten a lot of buzz lately - and for good reason,” said the medical website.

“Research suggests that stepping out in the sun twice a week for five to 30 minutes, depending on the individual, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. should do the trick and help you reach sufficient vitamin D levels.

“But you may live in a cloudy climate or may be wary of exposing your skin to the sun without protection. That’s when infusing your diet with vitamin D–rich foods can help.”

You could also avoid a deficiency by eating more mushrooms, it said. Some mushrooms may be treated with UV light, which increases the amount of vitamin D they could provide.

A single serving of fortified mushrooms could provide 400 IU of vitamin D, it added.

One of the best natural sources of vitamin D is oily fish - particularly salmon. A serving of salmon provides you with your total daily recommended amount of vitamin D, it said.

“Not only is salmon a great option if you’re looking for lean protein to add to your diet, but it’s also rich in the sunshine vitamin.

“Other cold-water fatty fish, like mackerel, sardines, and swordfish, also have similarly high levels of vitamin D.”

Similarly, swordfish is a great, natural source of vitamin D. Other good dietary sources include egg yolks and some fortified cereals or fruit juices.

Everyone should consider taking a 10mcg vitamin D supplement from September through to March, said the Department of Health.

That’s because people struggle to absorb enough ultraviolet light from the sun during the winter months to produce vitamin D.

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include bone or back pain, if you feel constantly tired, or if you are frequently getting ill.

Other warning signs include hair loss, muscle pain, and having cuts or wounds that take longer to heal than normal.

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