Vitamins are important nutrients that help your body function properly. They all have different roles to play and a deficiency of any one vitamin can lead to a number of nasty side effects. Whilst they are all equally important, vitamin D is perhaps even more important over Christmas. In this article I will be discussing why vitamin D is particularly important over the festive period and how you can make sure that you get enough.
As I discussed in my previous article on vitamin D it is one of the fat soluble vitamins. The main role of vitamin D is to help the body absorb calcium and phosphorous which both assist in the proper growth of bones and teeth. It also helps protect the bones from diseases and has been linked with protection against colon cancer. Both men and women are advised to get 0.01mg of vitamin D each day.
Not getting enough vitamin D can cause problems for both adults and children. In children a deficiency can lead to rickets which delays teething and causes their bones to break, swell and fracture more easily. In adults a lack of vitamin D can lead to osteomalacia, a condition similar to rickets where the bones become more fragile.
So as you can see getting your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D is very important if you want to maintain healthy bones. However, as I mentioned above it is perhaps even more important during the winter months. Why? Because unlike most other vitamins your body can produce its own vitamin D when exposed to sunlight hence it being nicknamed the ‘sunshine vitamin’. In fact experts suggest that spending 10-15 minutes in the sun each day will allow your body to produce sufficient levels of vitamin D.
In summer when the sun is shining brightly from dusk till dawn getting 10-15 minutes exposure each day is no problem. You are more than likely to experience this level of sunlight through the general walking you do each day. However, in winter it is a different story. Daylight hours are limited and any sunshine you do experience is often dull in comparison to what you would get in summer. Therefore, in winter it is very difficult for your body to get your vitamin D requirements from sunlight alone.
So how can you make sure you are getting enough of this vital vitamin in the winter months? Well although your body can produce vitamin D it can also be sourced from food. In the winter you will need to get the majority of your vitamin D from food because sunlight levels are low. But which foods are rich in this vitamin? The list below contains a selection of good vitamin D foods:
– Dairy products (such as butter, cream and eggs).
– Fortified Cereals.
– Milk (most types are fortified with vitamin D).
If you really struggle to get your RDA of vitamin D from diet alone then you may wish to consider supplementation. If so Vitabase offer a great selection at fantastic prices. However, you should be careful not to overdose on vitamin D supplements. Getting too much of this vitamin has a number of negative side effects the worst of which is increased blood calcium levels. This leads to calcium being deposited on various organs which can cause permanent damage.
Vitamin D is essential for the maintenance of healthy bones. Unlike the other vitamins, your body relies on sunlight to get its RDA of vitamin D. Over the festive period sunlight levels are extremely low so you need to make sure you are getting enough vitamin D from either your diet or supplements. Hopefully, this article has given you the information you need to top up your vitamin D levels this Christmas.
What do you guys think? Do you manage to get enough vitamin D over the festive period? Do you have any other methods for getting your RDA of vitamin D over Christmas? If so leave me a comment.
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