How Can You Increase Your Intake Of Vitamin D In The Colder Months?*

*This is a collaborative post*

Keeping up your recommended daily amount of vitamins is important - especially during the colder months when we’re more susceptible to colds and flus. From April to the end of September, most people can get their recommended daily vitamin D intake from direct sunlight. However, as the days become shorter between October and March, we often don’t get as much of the vitamin as we should.
So, what can you do to keep your intake of vitamin D up? Together with Dobies, retailers of garden plants, we provide some suggestions:

What are the benefits of Vitamin D?
Enough vitamin D can increase our happiness levels, as well as improve our overall well-being. Not only does it provide us with its own benefits, it enhances absorption of other vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and phosphate.
Some of us are more susceptible to deficiencies of vitamin D than others. For example, people with darker skin tend to have lower levels of the vitamin as their skin pigmentation acts as a natural sunscreen. People over the age of 50 also produce less vitamin D as their older skin is less able to generate it. Finally, overweight and obese people are more susceptible to deficiency as vitamin D is a fat soluble which means that it becomes collected in the body fat and does not benefit the body.
Vitamin D can help you shed a few pounds too. Upping your vitamin D intake was found to reduce new fat cells in the body and fat accumulation. It has also been linked to better skin, higher brain function, bone health and dental improvements.
The miracle vitamin can also increase your happiness too! It has been found to fight off depression too, as it is associated with higher serotonin levels. This is often why we feel happier in the sunshine. When it comes to the dreaded flu, vitamin D was found to reduce your risk of the illness by 50%.
If you experience prolonged deficiencies of the vitamin, it can have negative effects. These include osteoporosis, rickets, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Currently, it is recommended that adults should take no more than 25 micrograms per day, but some experts claim that this is too low. Too much vitamin D however, can cause a build-up of calcium in your blood which can lead to poor appetite, nausea and vomiting.

Incorporate it into your diet

There are changes that you can make to your regular diet in order to increase the amount of vitamin D that you get.
One food product that is high in vitamin D is fish. Examples of oily fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and tuna. These can easily be included in your daily meal at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Tinned tuna is great for salads and pasta dishes, and a glazed salmon fillet is the perfect accompaniment to vegetables for an evening meal. Including red meat such as pork, lamb and beef into your diet can also help to increase your vitamin D intake.
It can be difficult for vegetarians to get all of their vitamin D intake because of their restricted diet. Egg yolks are an alternative way to gain vitamin D, and these are easy to incorporate into a breakfast or lunch time meal. For vegans, mushrooms and almond milk are both good sources of vitamin D.
One thing to keep in mind is to ensure your diet is balanced. Don’t eat red meat every day to get your vitamin D intake, but alternate it with other recommended foods instead.

Are there any other actions you can take?

There are some other things that you can make a conscious effort to do in order to increase the amount of vitamin D you get. In supermarkets and pharmacies, there are supplements available that you can take. Multi-vitamin tablets are a good way to keep all of your vitamin levels on track.
Having access to sunlight is also a great source of vitamin D. Experts advise that exposing your forearms outdoors for 20-25 minutes each day can boost levels. Try to get out of the office at lunchtime and absorb some natural light! Or how about some gardening at the weekend. Despite the colder weather, there is still plenty to do in the garden - exposing you to some sunlight.
There are some foods available in stores that have added vitamins. Check labels and dietary information to find food with added vitamin D.

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