Vitamin D is nicknamed the sunshine vitamin and is produced in the body when the sun's ultra violet rays come in contact with your skin. Despite evidence that it can protect against a range of conditions, from arthritis to cancer, there are still more than one in five people in the UK who are thought to be vitamin D deficient.
As well as long term issues, there are day to day problems which can certainly have an impact on your life such as:
Suffering from sickness or infections more often
Fatigue and Tiredness
Bone and back pain
Impaired wound healing
Summer is the perfect time to ramp up your body stores, this can only be done effectively when the sun hits your skin, so lying in the garden only exposing your face isn’t going to boost things quickly, exposing more of your body would be far more effective.
Of course there are other ways of increasing your Vitamin D stores, here are a few examples:
Salmon, mackerel, herring, trout and kippers are all brilliant sources of vitamin D. Just half a fillet of salmon has over 1,000 IU of vitamin D, which is more than the daily recommended allowance for a person.
Research shows a 200ml glass of whole milk contains at least 100IU of vitamin D, a quarter of your daily optimum vitamin D intake. Not all milk products contain this essential vitamin, make sure you look for fortified varieties.
All the Vitamin D in an egg comes from its yolk, so it’s important to use the whole egg and not just the whites.
Similar way to humans, certain varieties of mushrooms can produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Some studies suggest that including mushrooms in your diet four times a week may shoot up your Vitamin D levels. Research has uncovered that shiitake mushrooms are the best at mimicking this process.
Take a supplement
There are very few natural food sources of Vitamin D, therefore one of the easiest ways is to take a supplement. It is advisable especially during the winter months to take a supplement. Most health food shops will stock Vitamin D tablets.
The latest research may give you another incentive to keep your Vitamin D levels topped up. A study presented at the European Society of Endocrinology showed an important link between obesity and vitamin D deficiency. The findings suggested that people who have higher levels of belly fat could be suffering from vitamin D deficiency as well.