We need Vitamin D for a number of reasons, these include maintaining strong and healthy bones, and help in regulating the immune system.
Unlike other vitamins where the best source is through food, the best source of Vitamin D is from the sun, which can be a problem here in the UK. A number of people in the UK are probably deficient in this essential nutrient, any maybe not even know it. There are a number of symptoms that can rear their ugly heads due to a deficiency in Vitamin D, including joint pain or stiffness, tooth decay, nail discolour, and muscle cramps. Even if you do not suffer from any of these symptoms but have been deprived of sun over the Autumn and Winter, it is fair to assume that Vitamin D levels are low.
In our #36alive 51 post we suggested leaving mushrooms out on the windowsill in view of sunlight as a way of getting more Vitamin D. Other sources of Vitamin D are salmon, herring, mackerel, and eggs, however as mentioned it is difficult to get enough through diet alone.
Another way is to supplement with Vitamin D. The supplements industry is big business these days with the a new “magic pill” for weight loss, muscle gain, hair growth, tanning and a while host of other things. I am a big believer in gaining all possible nutrients through diet alone rather than supplementing but sometimes needs must and Vitamin D is the one supplement I take.
In conclusion, today’s advice is two fold, with one to be cautious when taking supplements, most of these that are found in shops these days can be useless, but secondly, it is a good idea to get a Vitamin D supplement, at least until the sun arrives in the Summer (very optimistic I know!).