Statistics Canada has found that two-thirds of the population of Canada have vitamin D levels below the amount associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases.
During the summer months when sun exposure is highest, the body is able to convert sunlight into vitamin D. From fall through to spring in North America, this is much less likely because of the decreased levels of sunlight. So even if you’re spending loads of time outside skating and shovelling the walk, you should probably supplement your vitamin d by adding certain thing to your diet and lifestyle (unless you can head south every weekend!).
Here are five excellent ways to up your vitamin D intake without having to head south during this (seemingly never-ending) winter.
Fatty fish is an excellent source of vitamin D and common options include salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, and eel. And you get a bonus – a dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Krill oil is made from krill, small shrimp-like crustaceans that inhabit cold oceans, such as the Antarctic and northern Pacific oceans. It is a dietary supplement, primarily used for the omega 3 fatty acids it contains. Krill oil is a reliable source of vitamin D.
Mushrooms exposed to the sun can provide as much vitamin D as some supplements. Take the fungi out of their wrappings and leave them outside in sunlight for 30 minutes before eating. Much like our skin, mushrooms transform UV light into vitamin d and will do this even after they have been harvested.
Eggs are a convenient way to get vitamin D. They’re in many breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes. Since the vitamin D in an egg comes from its yolk, it’s important to use the whole egg—not just the whites. But don’t eat a dozen eggs just to fulfill your RDA, or the cholesterol might cause other problems.
Available in capsule, pill or liquid format, vitamin D supplements are an ideal and simple way to get enough vitamin d into everyone during the darker months of the year. Check with your doctor about the best amount for you and your family because too much can be toxic.
Reindeer meat, sea gull eggs, and lichen are also rich sources of vitamin D, but they are not on many menus.
Image Credit: Brad Stempke