Vitamin D is receiving lots of good press at the moment and it’s benefits seem to be far-reaching – from its role in building strong bones to heart health to its immunity benefits and even the prevention of certain cancers.
However, in Ireland we have poor levels of this important vitamin, due mostly to the fact that we do not get enough sunlight to produce vitamin D on our skin. Often called the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’, vitamin D is converted into its active form when we stretch our arms and legs out in the sun for a few minutes on a bright sunny day.
However, lack of sunlight and more awareness of the importance of using sunblock now mean that our levels of Vitamin D are critically low. In fact the Food Safety Authority of Ireland have recently written a report to recommend that we should all take a daily supplement to ensure we don’t run short.
Vitamin D does occur naturally in foods but some of the foods are not eaten everyday and so our intakes can be less than perfect.
Good sources of vitamin D include:
- Oily fish – herrings, mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout
- Eggs – the yolk contains the Vitamin D
- Fortified foods – some brands of milk, spreadable margarines and breakfast cereals have added vitamin D so check the label.
If these are not foods you regularly choose, you may need to talk to your Doctor or Practice Nurse about taking a supplement that includes Vitamin D.
If you would like to chat further about this give our Careline a call.