By Hannah Ziegler
With winter nearly upon us, you might already want to cozy up inside and get out of the frigid weather. But with less daylight comes lower levels of natural Vitamin D. Research shows that a deficiency in this sunny nutrient can be a contributing factor in breast cancer diagnoses for young women. Add to that chemo or hormone treatment (Tamoxifen), which reduces bone density in younger women, and that’s another crucial reason to consider the bone health-optimizing vitamin.
Most people need 1000 IU of Vitamin D per day. So, how can you get more of it as skies stay grey and days become shorter? Here are five sources of Vitamin D to consider adding into your winter rotation.
One of the most delicious ways to get Vitamin D is through foods that are rich with it. If you’re a seafood enthusiast, you’ll be pleased to find out that fatty fishes, such as tuna and salmon, are a great source of Vitamin D. You can also go for shrimp and oysters, or even add some sardines to your pizza.
2Dairy Products (yogurt and milk)
Two of the best sources of vitamin D luckily are luckily pretty common in most people’s fridges. Two cups (500 mL) of fortified milk are recommended for everyone daily. If you’re lactose-intolerant or vegan, no problem: fortified soy beverages also make the cut. Yogurt is another source that can easily be incorporated into your diet.
This one is pretty standard if you’re trying to get your Vitamin D levels up — browse your local drugstore for D3 products (this is the digestible form of Vitamin D) and add it to your daily supplement schedule. Professionals recommend a 400 IU supplement as a standard daily dose but it’s a good idea to consult your medical health professional for your individual needs.
4Breakfast Table Staples (cereal, orange juice)
Keep enjoying your fortified breakfast cereal and orange juice for for breakfast, because they are big players in getting the Vitamin D you need. Egg yolks are also a popular option, with up to 6000 IU per yolk!
This one may be obvious, but it is a natural way to get more Vitamin D. As UV rays are harmful, limit your exposure to just a few minutes. As the days get shorter (and colder), try to find a break mid-day when the sunshine is most present — even if it’s from the comfort of a heated room, with a big window, letting the rays shine through.
For more stories on diet and nutrition, click here