Here’s the lowdown on how to get the most from this essential vitamin:
Vitamin D is both a vitamin and a hormone which helps the body to control calcium and phosphate levels in the blood. This is essential for strong bones and teeth. It’s also important in making your brain, muscles, heart and lungs work well and that your body can fight infection.
Good sources of vitamin D include eggs, oily fish, fortified spreads, cereals and some powdered milk . Here’s some great vitamin D foods for winter. However, it is impossible to get enough through diet alone. Your body makes most of its vitamin D when skin is exposed to sunlight.
The recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D for a healthy adult is 600IU. A healthy blood level of vitamin D is 20 ng/ml, and this can be achieved through daily skin exposure to the sun.
Getting enough vitamin D in the winter is even trickier, so here’s some hints to help boost your intake in these darker months.
You can also take vitamin D supplements, but remember that it’s possible overdo it and cause toxicity.
Most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need through a healthy diet and sunshine. However, around 10 million people in the UK have a vitamin D deficiency. You are most likely to have deficiencies if you avoid the sun (or are strict about wearing sunscreen), are a strict vegan, have dark skin or are obese.
Symptoms of deficiency includes bone pain and muscle weakness. More serious issues are heart disease, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. A simple blood test can measure your vitamin D levels if you are concerned.
I thought we couldn't get enough UV in the UK in winter to make vitamin D, but if we get outside enough in the summer it all averages out. I will be checking up on the right foods though.
I have never heard of Vitamin D improving fitness, but I guess anything that keeps your body healthy is going to help to improve your performance.
yet again - being healthy is about moderation. If you want enough vitamin D then get outside and eat a varied diet. Job done.